Elder abuse and neglect is defined as intentional actions which cause harm or create a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable elder individual from a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship, including failure to provide basic needs or protect them from harm. With the population of individuals over 65 expected to rise from about 13 percent of the population today to over 20 percent by the year 2050, elder abuse is expected to be a growing problem.
Here are some findings that indicate the current status of the problem:
The most recent studies indicate that between 7.6 and 10 percent of study participants experienced abuse in the prior year.
Adult Protective Services agencies show an increasing trend in the reporting of elder abuse.
An overwhelming number of cases of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation go undetected and untreated each year.
One study has estimated that that only one in fourteen cases come to the attention of authorities, while another study in New York found that only one in twenty four cases were known.
Financial exploitation was self-reported at a rate of 41 per 1000 surveyed.
With over 3.2 million elder individuals residing in nursing homes, abuse in long term care facilities is also a growing problem. In a study from 2000, of the two thousand nursing home residents interviewed, 44 percent reported that they had been abused and 95 percent reported being neglected or witnessing another resident being neglected. A 2008 study by the U.S. General Accountability Office revealed that state surveys understate the problem in their licensed facilities.
If you believe that a loved one is being neglected or abused in a long term care facility, please contact our office for a free consultation regarding your legal remedies.