Elder abuse is estimated to affect five million elderly victims each and every year. Collectively, this means that approximately 10% of elderly Americans who are 60 or older have been subjected to elder abuse.
More alarming than the common occurrence of elder abuse is how infrequently this form of unlawful abuse is reported to the authorities and law enforcement. Sadly, research estimates that just one out of every 14 elder abuse incidents is ever reported to state and local authorities.
The effects of this unlawful abuse are wide and far-reaching, as the following statistics and insights reveal.
Abuse in Nursing Homes Is Alarmingly Prevalent
Investigative reporting by CNN found that nursing home abuse of the elderly is pervasive in its prevalence. CNN found that more than 1,000 nursing homes were cited for the mishandling of sex abuse cases that were suspected. This is just one of many abuse issues taking place in nursing homes around the country.
Shock findings from the National Center on Elder Abuse have found that more than half of nursing home staff admitted to abusing or otherwise mistreating elderly patients within the past year of their questioning. Simply put, whether the elderly are abused physically, sexually, emotionally, financially or suffer from extreme neglect, the toll it takes is devastating.
Elderly Victims of Abuse Are Overwhelmingly More Likely to Die Prematurely
A detailed follow-up study on the wellbeing of elderly abuse victims within an elderly community of patients found that elderly abuse victims suffer greatly. Specifically, victims of elder abuse are more than twice as likely to die prematurely than elders who are not victimized by abuse.
Common Signs of Elder Abuse
One step toward improving the lives of abused elderly victims is achievable simply by paying attention and observing common elder abuse signs. All too often, elder abuse thrives because people turn a blind eye to an elderly victim’s unlawful suffering.
If you notice one of the following signs, elder abuse may be taking place:
- Physical signs of bruising, scars, sprains and any other physical harms suggestive of mistreatment
- Observations of cruel, belittling or otherwise menacing behavior from caregivers
- Sexual abuse signs such as torn or bloody undergarments and physical bruises near private areas
- Financial abuse indicators such as large account withdrawals, odd changes in estate planning documents and similar activities
Also be sure to monitor signs of neglect or even self-neglect on the part of the elder in question. Living in unsafe conditions, suffering from weight loss and similar issues can be signs that an elder suffers from neglect.
If your loved one is suffering from elder abuse, legal action may be needed to protect your loved one’s legal rights. Contact The Ledger Law Firm to speak with an elder abuse attorney and discuss filing a lawsuit to pursue justice and compensation for an elder’s abuse injuries today.