Many people may not be aware of the prevalence of elder abuse within the United States. On an annual basis, over two million cases are reported. While it is important to note that these cases were, in fact, reported, there are others which unfortunately have not been. Given this, it is likely that a large percentage of elderly Americans continue to experience abuse and neglect.
It has been estimated that many elderly Americans will experience some level of abuse during their lives. Recent figures indicate that this currently applies to one out of every ten senior citizens. While this abuse may occur at home, it is also a common occurrence in facilities that care for the elderly, such as nursing homes.
A recent report showed that more than 90% of the individuals living in nursing homes have directly experienced or witnessed some type of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect. Furthermore, 40% of these nursing home residents have reported that they or someone else has been abused. Since this is where the elderly are supposed to be receiving quality care, additional investigations are needed.
While there are different reasons why someone may choose to abuse or neglect an elderly person, it is possible that alcohol may be involved in many of these situations. This may be due, in part, to the fact that roughly 25% of the people that consume alcohol will become aggressive on a consistent basis. The Department of Justice, for example, reported that alcohol was involved with up to 40% of the violent crimes that have occurred.
If you suspect that someone you know is a victim of elder abuse and/or neglect, the best course of action is to discuss your suspicions with the proper authorities. In the event that you have witnessed this in person, be sure to relay this information to the authorities as soon as possible. If you have been the victim of elder abuse and/or neglect, speaking out about this is vital to your health and well-being. When you are unable to contact the authorities, reach out to someone you trust so that they can contact the authorities on your behalf.
It is also a good idea to consult with an elder abuse lawyer when you believe that someone in your family is being either abused or neglected. In this instance, an elder abuse lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed. When you, personally, have been abused or neglected by someone in your family, a home caretaker, or while residing in a nursing home, an elder abuse attorney will also be able to provide you with counsel. Furthermore, since this is a serious crime, as well as one which is physically, mentally, and emotionally painful, an elder abuse lawyer will be there to support you through this process.