How common is elder abuse among older adults?
The National Counsel on Aging reports that one in ten Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. However, only one in fourteen cases of elder abuse are reported to the authorities. In almost 60% of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member and most likely an adult child or spouse. Other times, abuse happens in institutions, such as residential care, hospitals, and day care facilities.1
However, there are several reasons that it may be hard for researchers to get completely accurate elder abuse statistics. For instance, like many victims of abuse, older adults may be unwilling to report their abuse because they are scared the abuse will get worse. Some victims of elder abuse are unable to report their abuse or are not believed when they do report it because of their physical or mental condition.2