The US census of 2010 recorded over 40 million people more than 65 years old. “Baby Boomers” accounted for the largest segment of the population and within twenty years, they are expected to take up over 20 percent of the entire population. It is predicted that by 2050, people who are over 65 years old will constitute 20% of the whole population. The 85-year old segment is expected to hit 19 million by 2050 from 5.8 million during the 2010 census.
But while the elderly people continues to grow, a number of them are also getting abused in nursing homes. A study prepared by the minority staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government reported that 30 percent of nursing homes or 1 in every 3 elders are experiencing abuse from these facilities. A 2010 study conducted by Cornell University and the New York City Department for the Aging reported the following discoveries:
The incidence rate of elder abuse is nearly 24 times higher than the number of cases referred to social services, law enforcement, or legal authorities.
The most common form of elder abuse is physical
In New York alone, a minimum of 260,000 older adults experienced some form of abuse.
Similarly, the National Elder Mistreatment study revealed that 7 to 10 percent of all persons who participated in the survey said that they experienced some kind of abuse . In 2000, the National Center on Elder Abuse found out that 44% of these senior citizens said that they were abused, 95% of the surveyed group indicated that they had been neglected or had seen others neglected.
According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, entrusting your elderly loved one could have been difficult and that you expect the facility to treat them with dignity and compassion during their stay. Unfortunately, abuse can happen anywhere including nursing homes. In fact, according to studies, abuse of older persons is more often in community settings than in other settings.
The Different Kinds of Abuse
Depending on the kind of abuse, nursing home abuse can either be short-term or fairly permanent. There are different kinds of abuse that are present in these facilities:
This type of abuse involves the use of physical force resulting to bodily injuries, physical pain, or impairment. It may involve but is not limited to various acts of violence such as striking, beating, hitting, shoving, slapping, and others.
Sexual abuse includes but is not limited to illegal touching, all kinds of sexual assault or battery, and sexually explicit photographs.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
In this kind of abuse, a person inflicts pain, anguish, or distress using verbal or non-verbal acts. Examples of emotional abuse include verbal assault, insults, threats, intimidation, harassment, and others.
Neglect is the refusal or failure to fulfill a person's obligation or duties to an elder.It means not providing the elderly with various life necessities.
Here, the individual leaves the elderly person who has taken over the counter in order to care for them or by a person with physical custody of an elderly person.
Financial or Material Exploitation
This type of abuse involves the illegal use of an elder's funds, property or assets. The person assigned to cater for the elder cashes checks without the knowledge of the owner. He also forges signatures
The elderly person threatens to end his or own life. It is manifested when the older person refuses or fails to have adequate food, personal hygiene, medication, and safety precautions.