Experts have reported that knowledge about elder abuse lags as much as two decades behind the fields of child abuse and domestic violence. The need for more research is urgent and it is an area that calls out for a coordinated, systematic approach that includes policy-makers, researchers and funders.
The statistics and data presented on this page are based on a variety of references including peer-reviewed publications from high-ranking journals. When reviewing this page, keep in mind that the findings referenced come from a variety of research methods, with varying operational definitions and based in various geographic settings. Therefore, caution should be taken when attempting to generalize the data presented here.
This page refers to elder abuse in a general sense, incorporating all recognized forms of abuse.
Researchers concur that elder abuse is an epidemic that necessitates collaborative interventions. Sources for the two charts, above : to , and to , U. Bureau of the Census, ; , U.
Census Bureau, ; , U. Census Bureau, ; to , U. Census Bureau, a; to , decennial census; to , National Population Projections , Middle series. Find information on confidentiality protection, nonsampling error, and definitions PDF for the three charts above.
In the United States, the Census recorded the greatest number and proportion of people age 65 and older in all of decennial census history: In , the population aged 65 and over is projected to be In , this group is projected to reach 18 million. Older women outnumber older men. In , there were 89 men per women among those aged 65 to 69 and 38 men per women among those aged 90 and over.
In numerical terms, women outnumbered men by 0.
WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE - HOW and WHY it's Occurring
Conducting research on elder abuse poses numerous challenges. Researchers in the field generally encounter the following challenges on a consistent basis:. Although there is no universally accepted definition of elder abuse at this time, the NCEA recognizes that each existing definition has its own merit and value.
However, longstanding divergences in the definitions and data elements used to collect information on elder abuse make it difficult to measure elder abuse nationally, compare the problem across states, counties, and cities, and establish trends and patterns in the occurrence and experience of elder abuse.
Statistics and Data
It is also quite consistent with consensus definitions developed by international groups. Judicial System: The Center for Elders and the Courts states that elder abuse is generally defined to include abuse physical, sexual, or emotional , financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. Every state has an adult protective services law with definitions and may have other relevant civil or criminal laws.
Definitions vary from law to law and state to state. Some state laws enhance penalties based on age or vulnerability status of the victim. Unfortunately, we simply do not know for certain how many people are suffering from elder abuse and neglect.
Signs of elder abuse may be missed by professionals working with older Americans because of lack of awareness and adequate training on detecting abuse.
Below is a sampling of findings that show what is known about the incidence and prevalence of elder abuse and neglect. Keep in mind that the studies referenced employ a variety of research methods and operational definitions and are based in various geographic areas across the United States. Several studies have investigated what particular factors might make someone more at risk of becoming a victim of elder abuse.
Some key findings in this area are as follows.
Perpetrators are most likely to be adult children or spouses, more likely to be male, to have history of past or current substance abuse, to have mental or physical health problems, to have history of trouble with the police, to be socially isolated, to be unemployed or have financial problems, and to be experiencing major stress.
In a study of 4, older adults, family members were the most common perpetrators of financial exploitation of older adults FEOA In a sample of 5, older adults 60 or above, when comparing across types of mistreatment, a higher proportion of perpetrators of physical mistreatment compared to emotional and sexual mistreatment had problems with police, received psychological treatment, were using substances at the time of the incident, lived with the victim, and were related to the victim.
The newsfeed tracked media reports of all types of elder abuse through Google and Yahoo Alerts over a three-month period.
In the year , an estimated Research indicates that people with dementia are at greater risk of elder abuse than those without. By , most states are expected to see an increase in Alzheimer prevalence.
People with dementia can be more susceptible to abuse because of impairments in memory, communication abilities, and judgment.
Prevalence estimates are influenced, and possibly underestimated, by the fact that many people with dementia are unable, frightened, or embarrassed to report abuse. Prevalence estimates are influenced, and possibly underestimated, by the fact that many people with dementia are unable, frightened or embarrassed to report its presence.
Elder abuse occurs in community settings, such as private homes, as well as institutional settings like nursing homes and other types of long term care facilities. In , the number of nursing home residents was approximately 1. Social consequences may vary from increased social isolation due to self-withdrawal or perpetrator imposition to decreased social resources social identities, supports, roles in key networks and increased expenditures on services to compensate for resources lost through exploitation and to identify and rehabilitate elder abuse victims.
Research on elder abuse interventions is a growing area. Below are some examples of interventions both in the community and among professionals that have been identified in academic literature.
Dresser, R. Ethical and policy issues in research on elder abuse and neglect.
Editor Eds. Intervening to reduce elder abuse: challenges for research. Age and Ageing 45 2 , — Acierno R.
Types of elder abuse pdf editor
Prevalence and correlates of emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse and potential neglect in the united states: the national elder mistreatment study. American Journal of Public Health 2 , — Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc. Burnes, D.
Prevalence of and risk factors for elder abuse and neglect in the community: a population-based study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 63 9 , — Friedman, B. Longitudinal prevalence and correlates of elder mistreatment among older adults receiving home visiting nursing. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect 27 1 , 34— Laumann, E. Elder mistreatment in the United States: prevalence estimates from a nationally representative study.
Elder Abuse Surveillance: Uniform definitions and recommended core data elements.
National Academies of Sciences, Bonnie, R. Elder abuse: abuse, neglect, and exploitation in an aging America. Lachs, M. Elder abuse. New England Journal of Medicine, , — Center for Elders and the Courts.
Quinn, K. Generations 36 3 , 66— Cooper, C. Abuse of people with dementia by family carers: representative cross sectional survey. British Medical Journal, , b Peterson, J.
Financial exploitation of older adults: a population-based prevalence study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 29 12 , — Amstadter, A. Do incident and perpetrator characteristics of elder mistreatment differ by gender of the victim?
Metlife Mature Market Institute. Cornell University Disability Statistics. Barrett, K. Intimate partner violence, health status, and health care access among women with disabilities.
Powers, L, Saxton, M. Powers, J. End the silence: A survey of abuse against men with disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, 74 4 , 41— Hughes, R. Prevalence of interpersonal violence against community-living adults with disabilities: A literature review.
Rehabilitation Psychology, 56 4 , — Cooney, C. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21 6 , — Vande Weerd, C.