A recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that at least 10% of older adults age 65 and older will experience some form of elder abuse in a given year. Unfortunately, some of these victims simultaneously experience more than one type of abuse: physical, financial, sexual, psychological and neglect.

Not only does elder abuse encompass intentional acts that cause a risk of harm to an older adult. But elder abuse also involves a failure to act that could result in harm to a senior.

Data: The Prevalence of Elder Abuse

The data is shocking and shows a greater need for family members to be more actively involved in protecting their loved ones. The report shows the percent of the total population in the United States experiencing different types of elder abuse:

  • 6% Psychological abuse
  • 6% Sexual abuse
  • 6% Physical abuse
  • 1% Caregiver neglect
  • 2% Financial fraud and exploitation

Serious Consequences of Elder Abuse

When elder abuse is happening, it can have serious effects on the victim and their loved ones. For example, abuse situations can increase the risk of various health issues. The person might experience:

  • Deterioration of health
  • Hospitalization
  • Clinical cases (suicide and depression)
  • Social issues (relationship disruptions)
  • Financial loss
  • Diminished independence
  • Lower quality of life
  • Increased mortality

Family Involvement for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

Knowing the risk of elder abuse is the first step to protecting your loved one. When family members understand that a person could be at risk, they can proactively watch for potential signs of abuse. Family involvement and caregiver interventions are essential details to minimize the risk of elder abuse and help a senior maintain safety and independence.

Everyone needs to be aware of their neighbors and loved ones. Through education and proactive involvement, we can protect those in vulnerable situations.

At Senior Safe and Sound, we are working to provide information to the public so people are more informed about how they can prevent elder abuse. If you need more information or support, contact us by email at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858.480.7551.

This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.