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In-home elder care can still lead to abuse

Some people choose in-home care for their elderly relatives because they believe it will lower the chances of abuse. Their loved ones get to stay at home, where they are comfortable and happy, and they get the assistance they need. Sounds like a good fit, right?

It certain can be, but it's important to note that some reports indicate that emotional, physical and financial abuse are on the rise when looking at in-home care. Complaints and arrest warrants back this up. It's a serious issue that can't be ignored.

On the whole, reports show that about 10 million adults who are at least 65 years old are getting care, either in their own homes or in nursing homes. By 2030, the amount could nearly double, jumping from 40 million to over 70 million. Studies have also said that about 10 percent of elderly Americans have been abused. That could be about 7 million people by 2030.

On top of that, experts warn that the numbers are on the low end because a lot of cases are never reported. Some elderly individuals don't want to complain about in-home care abuse, for example, because they think they'll be moved to nursing homes. Others have mental issues like dementia and can't remember the exact abuse. One study found that over 33 percent of those with dementia suffer physical or psychological abuse that comes from their caregivers.

As you can see, abuse is far more common than a lot of people realize, even in the home. If your loved one has been abused, you need to know what legal options you have. Elder abuse must be stopped and legal action is often possible.

Source: AARP, "Elder Abuse: When Caregiving Goes Wrong," Rick Schmitt, accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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