Recent Study Reveals Serious Problem With Reporting Elder Abuse

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Weil Cornell Medicine, researchers found that emergency room departments do not identify the majority of elder abuse cases. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that emergency providers reported one case of elder abuse in approximately 7,700 senior visits to emergency rooms. The actual estimate is one in 10 seniors are the victims of elder abuse. Why Is Elder Abuse Under-Reported by Emergency Rooms? One of the main reasons why elder abuse falls through the cracks in the emergency room is the patient. Many seniors have cognitive impairments that make it difficult for seniors to communicate effectively with medical staff. Furthermore, it can be very challenging for medical providers to determine if a symptom of abuse, such as a bruise or laceration, is from abuse or due to the patient’s increased vulnerability for accidents and injuries. […]