3 Things You May Not Know About Elder Abuse
The decision to move a loved one into a nursing home or provide home health care for an elderly family member is never simple. So many factors go into the decision. Be it family members’ opinions, finances, finding the right place, even if your loved one actually supports the decision, it’s just not easy. When put in the position of choosing/deciding what the best option is, it’s important to remember that the needs of the person who will be living this new life should always come first. Finding the perfect place for your aging loved one should be a devout, proactive process . The reality is, that you’re putting this person’s life in others’ hands, and not every place has the integrity and attention that they promise.
Not All Elder Abuse is Reported
A study done on elder abuse done by Cornell University found that elder abuse incidence in New York State was about 24% greater than the number of incidences that were reported to authorities. When broken down into 4 main categories, Physical, Financial, Neglect, and Emotional, the results were striking. Per 1,000, 42 self reported instances of financial abuse, be it theft or money stolen. Only .96, or 1 per 1,000 cases were documented to the proper authorities.
It’s Not Always the Employees
When you think of nursing home abuse, or elder abuse, your first thoughts may jump to employee-resident relationships. What you may not know is that in New York state, resident-to-resident elder mistreatment is prevalent. A different study by the The Weill Cornell Medical College found that nearly one in five nursing home residents in 10 facilities across New York state were involved in at least one aggressive encounter with fellow residents during the four weeks prior to the study.
Residents with Dementia are Most at Risk
Approximately 5.1 million American elders over 65 have some kind of dementia. Research done by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that people with dementia are at greater risk than those without. Vulnerabilities caused by the symptoms of dementia like impairments in memory, communication ability, and judgement are all risk factors for abuse in nursing homes. As dementia progresses, so does the risk of abuse. Many cases people with dementia are unable, embarrassed, or too frightened to report elder abuse.
Putting the life of a loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility shouldn’t be something that involves risk. Unfortunately, the reality is that though these facilities are created and operated to put your loved one in a best-case-scenario, but that just isn’t always the case. Elder abuse is a real problem in today’s society, and should be always top of mind.