There has been a disturbing increase in elder abuse statistics during recent years in the United States. It is a trend that has cast a dark, ominous shadow on "The Golden Years" for many retirees and senior citizens.
Senior abuse and elder abuse cases, much like instances of child abuse and exploitation, frequently go unreported. As a result, the statistics, as disturbing as they are, do not even begin to show the real picture; the problem of elder abuse in this country is actually far bigger and far more widespread than most statistics indicate.
Common examples of senior citizen abuse include elderly abuse and neglect and serious crimes against the elderly like physical and sexual elderly abuse in nursing homes, elder fraud and financial exploitation of the elderly. And it's not always physical either; elder emotional abuse is also common.
In fact, a Congressional report from 2001 revealed that 5,283 nursing homes — more than 30% of the 17,000 nursing homes licensed to operate in the US at that time — were cited for nursing home abuse during 1999 and 2000. 30%! That's 1 in 3. Still think your parents are safe? What about you when you retire?
The most alarming, outrageous statistic of all is that a high number of reported and unreported cases of elder abuse, elder mistreatment, elder neglect, elder fraud, elder maltreatment, financial exploitation of the elderly and many other crimes against the elderly are committed by family members.
While every state in the US has elder abuse laws on the books that make abuse of the elderly a crime, the real challenge is finding out about it in the first place. A 2002 report published in the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy stated that elder abuse and neglect is "widespread, unreported, infrequently prosecuted and the cause of untold suffering, injury, illness and death."Scroll to Top