Abuse among seniors in nursing homes is usually overlooked or not documented to the threshold standards required. It has been reported that only 1 in 14 case reaches the authorities which mean a less than 10% case documentation. A New England Journal study published a report on seniors abusing each other in nursing homes, resulting in a 1 in 5 resident on resident abuse.
What Are The Kinds Of Abuse?
When you look through the definition of abuse by seniors, you will realize that they take abuse to be any event that is upsetting or disruptive. With that said, it is noted that 1 in 5 residents at every nursing home has complained of abuse. So what is the abuse setting that they refer to? The first orientation of abuse is resident on the resident, and this is perpetrated through the act of residents of a nursing home abusing each other be it physically or verbally. This leads to injuries which add $5.3 billion to the expenditure allocated to health by the government.
The second orientation of abuse is caregiver on resident whereby a caregiver abuses the dependent position that is placed on them by a resident. This is mostly exploited through the avenue of benefit seeking, and this is where aspects of financial fraud come in. 41 out of every 1,000 surveyed seniors reported having been exploited financially. A report from the national treasury indicates that a financial loss of $2.9 billion is experienced annually from financial fraud targeted at seniors.
Even though most of the senior abuse is centered on the verbal and physical setting including violence, sexual aggression was also noted as a form of abuse among seniors coming in at 0.5% of the overall documented cases. Rape has however not been a part of the abuse definition reported among seniors in nursing homes.
Statistics & Causes Of Abuse
In 2011, residents of 10 different New York State nursing homes were placed on a research platform for 6 weeks and out of the collective, 411 residents reported to have been subjected to senior abuse. There are 450,000 new cases every year on abuse among seniors. This is a sharp rise in the statistics which means that in the past year between 700,000 and 1.2 million elderly people, 4% of them above 65 years were reported to have experienced elderly mistreatment and abuse be it from caregivers or other residents.
In a bid to understand the aspect of abuse among seniors, you first have to understand what triggers the abuse. It is important to know what causes the abuse and what can aid in understanding the world of seniors.
Various Forms Of Abuse
- Physical and mental decline
Most of the seniors in nursing homes are faced with physical and mental challenges including diseases that impair their process of thought. With this in mind, seniors tend to have physical altercations in an attempt to communicate a point. You probably have visited a nursing home and found individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia among other ailments.
- Web of dependency
The web of dependency comes about between a caregiver and a resident or a resident and a fellow resident, where one or more seniors may need to be assisted in handling varied activities at the nursing home. Continued service ultimately leads to dependency, and this is what sometimes leads to financial exploitation by a caregiver in a bid to get a return on the level of care and service being offered.
A Serious Persistent Problem
In 2000, 44% of 2,000 residents in nursing homes for seniors were identified as having undergone one or more orientations of abuse. An astounding 95% claimed that at one point or the other, they had undergone some form of neglect. All these factors point to a serious problem of abuse among and towards seniors.