Unlike with the occurrence of domestic violence and child abuse, there has been no nationally recognized or organized effort to understand elder abuse or to collect elderly abuse statistics. The majority of elder abuse statistics that are available have been collected by independent researchers. Elderly abuse statistics illustrate the troubling reality of elder abuse in the United States.
Information and data suggests that over 1 million Americans over the age of 65 have been subjected to physical brutality, psychological abuse, sexual assault, or financial exploitation by an individual tasked with their care and support. Every year, over 400,000 elderly individuals experience some form of elder abuse. Elder abuse statistics estimate that up to 10% of elderly individuals eventually become victims of some type of abuse or neglect, though this varies based upon the survey and the research.
Approximately one out of every 14 cases of elderly abuse violating elder law occurs in a domestic setting such as the victim's home. The available elderly abuse statisticsfurther estimates that over five million elders may be the victims of financial exploitation annually, though actual reported figures cannot confirm this. Elderly abuse statistics from 2003 report over 20,000 cases of nursing home abuse. The most common type of abuse within nursing homes was physical abuse, but psychological abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect were also present. Statistics and data suggest that for every incident of abuse or neglect reported to the appropriate authorities, at least five cases are not reported.
Elder abuse statistics indicate that elderly abuse investigations are substantially greater in states that have established mandatory reporting legislation. The data that is currently accessible thus indicates that this troubling and horrific behavior is much more prevalent then most people believe it is.
Elder abuse statistics can help to construct a complete picture about elder abuse in the United States. The large majority of elder abuse victims almost 70% are female. Meanwhile, over half of the offenders that were responsible for this type of abuse and neglect were likewise women. The most common type of abuse experienced by elderly individuals is neglect, closely followed by psychological abuse and financial exploitation.
Although physical abuse was found to be the most common type of elder abuse in nursing homes, it is one of the least frequent forms of abuse overall. Elder abuse statistics indicate that sexual abuse is relatively rare when compared to the other forms of elderly abuse. The individuals most frequently responsible for elder abuse are the adult children of the victims. Other family members were also commonly responsible for brutality and maltreatment.
Elderly abuse statistics, to boot, show that spouses are least commonly responsible for elder abuse. The available information and data suggests that even one incident of abuse or neglect may have an extremely detrimental effect on an elderly individual. They often experience more difficulty recovering from physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. Researchers believe that this is primarily a result of inadequate support systems.