Many factors can contribute to an elder abuse situation. Sometimes, there is misunderstanding or ignorance on the part of the caregiver, such as when a long-term care staff person does not understand the effects of aging. In nursing homes, in particular, staff may be prone to commit elder abuse because of insufficient staffing, lack of training, or stressful working conditions.
Abuse may happen when a caregiver does not know how to deal with a difficult or demanding situation and is under stress. The caregiver may vent impatience, frustration, and anger on the elder whom they are assigned to protect and nurture.
Family members and friends can help prevent elder abuse and neglect by knowing what to look for and how to respond.
Elder abuse is a crime. Help is available.
Abuse of an elderly person can happen in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult group homes and other long-term care facilities. Abuse from a caregiver can also occur in private homes.
The National Center on Elder Abuse has estimated that more than one million seniors suffer abuse or neglect each year, many while in nursing homes. In 2001, a Congressional report revealed that 5,283 nursing homes, more than 30 percent of the 17,000 nursing homes nationwide, were cited for abuse violations from January 1999 through December 2000. Of the 9,000 violations reported, 1,600 were serious enough to directly harm residents.
What is elder abuse and neglect?
Long-term care staff must report abuse and neglect violations according to facility policy. In most long-term care facilities, policy states that staff must report violations to the unit supervisor or administrator. State law requires the facility to report the abuse or neglect allegation to the Ohio Department of Health within 24 hours and complete an investigation within five days of the report.
Family and friends of elderly residents who suspect elder abuse or neglect can protect victims from further harm by reporting it immediately to the proper authorities.
Ohio Department of Health Complaint Hotline:
Ohio Victims of Crime Compensation Program, Attorney General's Office:
To report Medicaid Fraud/Abuse and Neglect, call the Ohio Attorney General:
For help resolving complaints of elder abuse and neglect, call to speak with a resident advocate in ABLE's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program:
We can help.
To voice a concern or obtain information about long-term care, contact ABLE's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
Please call ABLE's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at: