Advocating for our Elders
Be aware of the different forms of elder abuse
Elder abuse and/or neglect is an intentional action that results in harm or creates a significant risk of harm (whether or not harm is intended) to an elder (defined as age 60 or older) by a caregiver or any other person the elder trusts.
This includes a failure to protect the elderly individual from harm and/or meet his or her basic needs.
The six most commonly-identified types of elder abuse include:
- Physical: This involves burning, hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, or any other show of force.
- Emotional: This involves behaviors that damage an elder’s self-worth or emotional well-being and includes destroying property, isolating the elder from friends and family, name calling, or deliberately scaring or embarrassing an elder.
- Financial and/or material exploitation: This refers to the illegal misuse of an elder’s assets, money, or property.
- Abandonment: This involves a caregiver leaving an elder alone and no longer providing care for him or her.
- Neglect: This refers to the failure to meet an elder’s basic needs, such as clothing, medical care, housing, and food.
- Sexual: This involves forcing an elder to participate in a sexual act in which the elder does not or cannot consent.
Elder Abuse: A Hidden Problem
Research suggests that the incidence of elder abuse is significantly underreported.
According to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study, it is believed that as little as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse are brought to the attention of authorities.
What is Ahead?
According to an AARP poll people age 70+ living in the community (who were not hospitalized for COVID) experiencing depressive symptoms rose 3-fold to almost 21% during the pandemic including loneliness, feeling helpless, negative thinking, and a sense of rejection. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, 43% of those over age 60 reported feeling isolated according to AADMM. According to the National Institute of Justice, the incidence of elder abuse is expected to continue to increase because people are living longer than ever before. The U.S. Census Bureau expects that more than 62 million Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2025 and more than 7.4 million be age 85 or older by 2025. As a result, they are likely to require more protection and care than is available or even possible.
We want to help
Silver Angels for the Elderly would like to help you find the best facility for your loved one. Please click on the references below to learn more about the issue, to recognize when someone is being abused, and to find the complaint history on different facilities. Remember to document everything!
A Breakdown of Reported Elder Abuse Cases
- The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that an average of 2,150,000 cases of elder abuse are reported each year. Additionally, they state that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of abuse in the past year, and many have experienced multiple forms of abuse. Of these cases:
- 5% allege neglect and/or abandonment
- 7% allege physical abuse
- 3% allege financial exploitation
- 3% allege emotional abuse
- 04% allege sexual abuse
- All other types account for 5.1%, while the type of abuse alleged in 0.06% of cases is unknown.
What are the Consequences of Elder Abuse?
- Elderly individuals, who have been abused, regardless of the severity, have a 300% greater risk of death than those who had not been subjected to abuse.
- Elderly individuals who are the victim of abuse or neglect are two times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are not.
- Those who survive elder abuse suffer substantially higher levels of psychological distress than those who do not.
- Elderly individuals who have been subjected to physical abuse have a higher incidence of health problems than their peers. This includes heart, bone, joint, and digestive problems, as well as chronic pain, anxiety or depression, and high blood pressure.
- The annual financial loss suffered by the victims of elder financial exploitation was estimated to be $2.9 billion in 2009. This was a 12% increase from the previous year.
Who do we contact if we know individuals living at home who are suffering from abuse and/or neglect?
Idaho Adult Protective Services
Adult protection programs provide for the safety and protection of vulnerable adults that are, or are suspected to be, victims of abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation.
Home Health Hotline
(800) 345-1453 (You can leave a message at this phone number.)
Contact the Attorney General with your case if you need more help @ https://www.ag.idaho.gov/contact/
What's the Difference Between Types of Long-Term Care Facilities?
A definition of the different facilities can be found here:
A Breakdown of the Victims of Elder Abuse
- 67.3% of elder abuse victims are female.
- The median age of elder abuse victims is 77 years, 9 months old.
- Nearly 1 in 2 elderly individuals with dementia some form of abuse at the hands of others.
- Racial Breakdown:
- 66.4% of victims are white
- 18.7% of victims are black
- 10.4% of victims are Hispanic
- The remaining 4.5% are of a mixed or unknown race.
- The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that 9.5% of the elderly population will be the victim of some form of elder abuse during their lifetime.
Who are the Abusers?
- According to a national study conducted by the NCEA, almost 90% of abusers were family members. They are most often adult children or grandchildren, spouses, and partners. There is a higher rate of abusers among individuals who abuse alcohol or drugs, struggle with a mental or emotional illness, and feel burdened by their responsibilities as a caregiver.
Who do we contact if we have an issue with abuse of a loved one?
Idaho CareLine Information and Referral
(Health and Human Services Community Resources, DHW Information Clearinghouse, Fraud Reporting, Medicaid Service Providers, Foster Care/Adoptions, Child Care System, Fingerprinting/Criminal History, and all other services not listed)
2-1-1 or 800-926-2588
Bureau of Long Term Care (BLTC) (Nurse Reviewers, Personal Care Services, Long Term Care, Certified Family Homes, Healthy Connections, Adult Developmental Disabilities Program)
(For Medicaid Enrollment & Assistance, please call 1-877-456-1233)
How do we make a complaint about a Long-Term Care or Rehabilitation Facility?
Call: Facility Standards @ 208-334-6626, opt 2. Leave a message.
Make sure you get a case number and follow-up on when they will address your complaint! My mother’s case took 18 months to get an investigator out!
We hope that someday Idaho legislature will mandate an oversight committee over this agency. We need better protection in Idaho!
How do I find the complaint history on different facilities in our region?
If you’re looking for an Assisted Living and want to research complaints: https://www.flareslive.com/portal/SearchFacility.aspx. Click on the various facilities to get reports on certifications and complaints.
If you’re looking for a Long-Term Care facility (LTC) – Skilled Nursing Facility: https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Medical/LicensingCertification/FacilityStandards/LTCSurveyResults/tabid/315/Default.aspx
If you are looking for a Nursing Home: https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html. Put in the city you want to research.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
Silver Angels for the Elderly is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization that provides awareness and support to residents of eldercare facilities and their family members in Kootenai County. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved, or if you have questions.