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Is elder abuse really underreported?

Adult neglect, also known as elder or dependent neglect, threatens the lives of those who are most vulnerable. Caregivers who work with these individuals are meant to be providing them with much-needed protection and support, but instead, they neglect these people and hurt their chances of living comfortably and without injuries.

Neglect takes place when a caregiver doesn’t keep an elder safe or provide for their psychological or physical needs. This can mean failing to do several things including failing to:

  • Provide physical therapy
  • Provide necessary medications
  • Provide assistance with personal hygiene
  • Provide sanitary conditions
  • Provide safe living conditions

How often does abuse or neglect affect the elderly?

Abuse and neglect affect many people. Statistics show that 551,011 people age 60 or older face neglect, abuse or self-neglect in a single 12-month period. Estimates made by professionals show that around 1 to 2 million elders had been injured, mistreated or exploited in the last year. The reason for the difference in statistics is because it’s believed that neglect and abuse are rarely reported. Studies have suggested that as few as one in 14 elder abuse incidents are taken to the authorities, meaning that many people suffer in silence.

What kinds of abuse do the elderly face?

Some kinds of abuse they may face include sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and financial abuse by someone in the family.

Any kind of abuse can impact any elder. It is important to report incidents of violence or neglect so that the authorities can help your loved one and others get the assistance they need.


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