Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide residents with a high level of care. However, residents and the family members of those who live in these facilities must still pay attention to many different risk factors. Some people may be more likely to experience nursing home abuse.
Preventing abuse is pivotal, as well as addressing any instances of neglect or mistreatment.
Statistics on nursing home abuse and gender
The U.S. Department of Justice published various statistics on the mistreatment of older adults (those 60 and over). These statistics do not include cases of self-neglect. According to data from the fiscal year 2019, older women were more likely to report mistreatment than older men: 63.7% of victims were female and 34.4% were male. However, only 30 states reported the gender of victims.
Other considerations regarding gender and nursing home abuse
Not all nursing home residents who experience abuse choose to report it. Many remain silent. For example, some older men living in nursing homes feel ashamed and do not tell anyone that they experienced mistreatment.
Some people may feel that their loved one is less likely to experience abuse because of gender, but both men and women suffer in various ways due to mistreatment in nursing homes. Moreover, victims from various backgrounds sometimes worry that if they speak up, they will experience further abuse.
Family members may be the only ones in position to identify abusive situations and sound the alarm. They should report suspicions of abuse to the nursing home director and to the long-term care ombudsman. If a resident is in danger, family members should not hesitate to contact law enforcement.