Is elder abuse rampant in the United States?

Elder abuse is a real problem in Alabama and around the United States. Elder abuse is caused by people who hurt or create the risk of harm to vulnerable elderly adults. When considering the risk of harm, it doesn't matter if the harm was intended or not, it still constitutes elder abuse.

It's impossible to know exactly how many people suffer from elder abuse each year. What is clear from statistical evidence is that female elders are more likely to be abused and that the older a person gets, the more likely he or she is to be abused. This abuse often goes unnoticed.

Why does no one notice an elderly person who is suffering? It's claimed that professionals may lack the training they need on the issue. Elderly people could be reluctant or unable to report the abuse. The fear of retaliation along with the lack of physical or mental abilities to do so can be part of the reason why abuse goes unreported.

Did you know that major studies have said that data reports 7.6 to 10 percent of study participants have experienced abuse or nursing home abuse in the last year? The study also found that one in 10 was experiencing abuse that wasn't related to financial abuse. It's claimed that only one out of every 14 cases of elder abuse get reported on average, so the authorities may never hear about those 13 other cases.

It's hard to treat and rectify situations the authorities don't know about. If you've faced this kind of struggle with your loved one or have suffered abuse yourself, it may be time to seek help from those who can protect your rights.

Source: National Center on Elder Abuse, "Statistics and Data" Aug. 27, 2014

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