11 Facts About Elder Abuse

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  1. Elder abuse most often takes place in the home where the senior lives. It can also happen in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities.
  2. Approximately 1.6 to 2 million seniors become victims of abuse or neglect in domestic and institutional settings in the U.S. every year.
  3. The four most common forms of elder abuse are physical abuse (including sexual abuse), psychological and emotional abuse, financial/material abuse, and neglect.
  4. Most elder abuse victims are dependent on their abuser for basic needs.
  5. At least 1 in 9 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse.
  6. Seniors who have been abused have a 300 percent higher risk of death when compared to those who weren’t.
  7. In almost 90 percent of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member.
    • Two-thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses.
  8. For every reported incident of elder abuse, five others go unreported.
  9. Almost 50 percent of seniors with dementia (a decline in mental ability. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia) experience some form of abuse.
  10. While 91 percent of federal abuse prevention dollars are spent on child abuse, 7 percent is spent on domestic abuse, and only 2 percent goes towards protecting the elderly.
  11. Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some type of elder abuse law.

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Sources: Elder Justice NowAdministration on AgingHelp Guide, Administration on Aging, New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault