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Why is Elder Abuse Difficult to Detect?

The National Center on Elder Abuse attempts to track and accurately report on elder abuse throughout the nation. However, experts explain that it is difficult to accurately count how many elderly citizens are actually being mistreated. The lack of elder abuse detection stems from a variety of causes:
  • Healthcare professionals may not be trained to accurately spot the signs of abuse
  • Victims may not report abuse because of fear or an inability to communicate
  • Family members or other loved ones fail to notice the signs of elder abuse
Though the agency cannot currently accurately report on the number of elder abuse cases in the US, experts do know that elderly women are far more likely to be abused than elderly men. They have also concluded that the older an individual’s age, the more likely he or she will be abused.

The Hard Facts on Elder Abuse

Some statistics are available to help determine a more accurate picture of abuse around the country. For example, a 2000 study found that among nursing home residents 95 percent reported being neglected or reported seeing another resident being neglected. Another 44 percent reported being abused. Another government study found that 30 percent of a group of 5,000 U.S. nursing homes had been cited for nearly 9,000 cases of abuse between 1999 and 2001. Incidents reported included neglect, malnutrition, dehydration, and bedsores.

Identifying and Stopping Elder Abuse

Statistics such as these lead experts to believe that the majority of elder abuse cases are not reported. If you have an elderly loved one whom you believe may be suffering abuse, it is important that you take action. Common elder abuse warning signs include:
  • Unexplained signs of injury
  • Signs of restraints
  • Caregiver refusing to allow you to be alone with the patient
  • Strange and unexplained behavior
  • Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
  • Significant financial withdrawals
  • Depression or inability to cope

These are only a few of the signs of elder abuse. If you are fearful that your elderly loved one is suffering from neglect or abuse at the hands of his or her caregiver, the team at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas should be your first call. We understand the laws surrounding elder abuse and can help you identify it and put a stop to it. We will help you seek justice with our years of experience and knowledge. When you find yourself in the terrible situation of discovering abuse of your elderly loved one, you must act quickly to put a stop to the abuse.

Contact the team at Bernstein & Poisson today for help.