Statistics On Elder Abuse & Neglect

Practice Area photoElder abuse is a growing and serious problem in the United States.  Just recently, the United States Congress has held hearings on this problem with some notable and famous elders providing testimony on their experiences with abuse.  It is thought that many in our country are suffering silently as they are vulnerable and unable to speak up for themselves.  Among the many statistics on this very serious issue are the following:

  • Every year, an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. American Psychological Association.

  • 4% to 6% of the Elder population suffers abuse every year. National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

  • From 75% of caregivers are family members. National Center on Elder Abuse

  • 90% of cases of Elder abuse involve a family member as abuser. Source National Center on Elder Abuse

  • Fewer than 1 in 6 cases of Elder Abuse are reported. Source National Center on Elder Abuse.

  • Current estimates put the overall reporting of financial exploitation at only 1 in 25 cases, suggesting that there may be at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year. (Wasik, John F. 2000. "The Fleecing of America's Elderly," Consumers Digest, March/April.).

  • Between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection. (Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America. 2003. Washington, DC: National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect.).

  • In 2003, state Long Term Care Ombudsman programs nationally investigated 20,673 complaints of abuse, gross neglect, and exploitation on behalf of nursing home and board and care residents. Among seven types of abuse categories, physical abuse was the most common type reported. (National Ombudsman Reporting System Data Tables. 2003. Washington, DC: USA).