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Elder abuse quadruples risk of nursing home admission, report finds

March 27, 2012
by Kevin Kolus
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As many as one in 10 people age 60 and over are affected by abuse and have a fourfold increased risk of nursing home admission, according to the latest “Public Policy & Aging Report” from The Gerontological Society of America (GSA).

The report argued that while the Elder Justice Act—signed into law with 2010’s Affordable Care Act—authorizes $777 million over four years to combat elder abuse by creating advisory bodies and funding adult protective services, it has actually “received no appropriations to date.”

Elder abuse encompasses mistreatment, neglect and exploitation of a physical, psychological or sexual nature, according to the GSA.

The policy report’s article author, Marie-Therese Connolly, JD, a 2011 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, analyzed the government agencies responsible for addressing elder abuse and found them to be lacking in “adequate coordination and direction.”

“It’s an issue where real federal leadership and a modest investment of resources—by Congress, the [Obama] administration, and private funders—could have a profound impact, mitigating the suffering of millions of people and saving billions of dollars,” Connolly said in a statement.

In the report, Connolly argues that elder abuse increases rates of mortality, injury and disease, as well as the risk for nursing home admission.

Other authors in the report show data that insists elder abuse remains “seriously under-addressed” by public policy and provide a recommended agenda for future research, education, training and advocacy.

U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) and U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) contributed introductory statements for the report.

The “Public Policy & Aging Report” is available for purchase from the GSA here.



This is one of my greatest fears with the push toward home care of the elderly. I am afraid that there will not be enough oversight in the personal homes as what the government places on nursing facilities. Most people at home do not have any education on residents rights, infection control, safety nor personal care skills nor dietary skills with the failing elderly. Some of the organizations which are leading the choices programs will say that they have oversight built in, but I'm afraid that this is just lip service to save government money and to pay high rates per hour of service for home care. What is to prevent the adult grandchild who is supposed to be caring for the grandparent in their home, from sleeping in, doing drugs or not providing appropriate nourishment to the person they are being paid to take care of? Does the living accommodations have any requirements on cleanliness, safety or activities to keep a person socially active? Will there be any unannounced home inspections, any verification of care being done or medications being given correctly? Beside all of this, which grandparent will report the abuse from a family member?