September 2, 2020
As the elderly population increases, elder abuse rates are also rising without equally increased awareness. The number of Americans 65 and over is expected to nearly double by 2030 because of the 74 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, and the number of people 85 and over is escalating at an even faster rate.
As a result, as many as 2 million seniors are abused, exploited or neglected every year in the United States, judging by available statistics and surveys, but experts say there could be many more. Some research indicates that 1 in 10 seniors have underwent some form of abuse at least once.
These incidents are both in eldercare facilities intending to ensure these individuals are well taken care of and at home where they live with family for their later years. Unfortunately, it has been observed that with a larger amount of elderly persons, the higher the rate of abuse. These incidents may be physical, emotional or psychological.
But getting comprehensive numbers of the abused is complicated, experts say, because the vast majority of cases go unreported out of embarrassment, fear of being cut off from family — most abuse is at the hands of relatives — or confusion about what has happened.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 16% of older adults are victims of mistreatment and the number of reported cases of elder abuse is steadily increasing. But due to poor record-keeping it’s hard to know if the trend reflects an actual increase, an increase because of growing numbers of older adults, or only an increase in reporting due to greater awareness.
One silver lining is that awareness about elder abuse, still largely a taboo topic worldwide, has started to increase across the world and particularly inside the United States. Luckily, people have started taking personal responsibility and reporting what they have seen or suspect.
But we should be aware of the importance of continued federal and local support for programs looking after our elder population and we need to also provide personal contact for older adults in our orbits. For older adults, personal contact with caring for others not only prevents elder abuse, but can save lives.
Elder Abuse and Neglect are forms of injustice we need to tackle to better serve our communities and our elderly people. If you recognize that Elder Abuse is happening to someone you know contact us at 888-288-0091 or through our website right away so that we have time to take action and have the best chance possible of a successful resolution.