Abuse towards the elderly, whether they live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or in the community, is common. There are different types of abuse, and certain individuals are at higher risk of being victims.
Family and other loved ones should be aware of the problem and file a report if there is suspected abuse.
Types of abuse
According to the United States Department of Justice, the types of abuse that those 65 years of age and older experience, in order from highest to least prevalence, include:
- Financial exploitation and fraud
- Caregiver neglect
- Psychological abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
Abuse statistics and facts
At least 10% of the elderly experience a minimum of one type of abuse every year. This results in numerous consequences in the form of health issues, financial loss and social issues, which lead to a diminished quality of life.
One of the main associated risk factors is dementia, and there tends to be a higher percentage rate of dementia among individuals living in rural areas, although there is a lower rate of elder abuse reporting in those communities.
How to report abuse
According to the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs, someone can report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect via phone, fax or online. Abuse reports go to the Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services. These programs provide various services to help protect vulnerable adults. These services include placement, protective supervision and community-based and in-home programs.
There are also prevention programs that provide more information about identifying the signs of abuse, training and activities for prevention.