The following statistics are derived from the findings of a national study of domestic elder abuse reports conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse in 1994. Data on elder abuse reports were collected from state adult protective service and state units on aging across the nation for the years of 1993 and 1994. It is important to note that some experts estimate the only one out of 14 domestic elder abuse incidents (excluding the incidents of self neglect) comes to the attention of authorities.

In 1986, there were about 117,000 reports of domestic elder abuse in the nation. This figure rose to 241,000 reports in 1994, representing an increase of 106 percent.

It is estimated that approximately 818,000 elders became victims of various types of elder abuse in 1994. This figure, however, excludes self-neglecting elders. If self-neglecting elders are added, the total number of elder abuse victims would be 1.84 million individuals in the same year.

In most states, certain types of professionals are designated as "mandatory reporters of elder abuse" and are required by law to report suspected cases of elder maltreatment. In 1994, 21.6 percent of all domestic elder abuse reports came from physicians and other health care professionals, while another 9.4 percent came from service providers, and family members and relatives of victims reported 14.9 percent of the reported cases of domestic elder abuse.

The majority of domestic elder abuse reports are substantiated after investigations. For example, 54.9 percent of reports were substantiated in 1994. Additionally, 54.9 percent of the substantiated reports were self-neglect cases.

Neglect is the most common form of elder maltreatment in domestic settings. Of the substantiated reports of elder abuse for which perpetrators were identified in 1994, 58.5 percent involved neglect. Physical abuse accounted for 15.7 percent in the same year, while financial/material exploitation was 12.3 percent of the substantiated reports.

In 1994, 65.4 percent of the victims of domestic elder abuse was white, 21.4 percent were black, and Hispanic elders accounted for 9.6 percent of the domestic elder abuse victims.

Adult children are the most frequent abusers of the elderly in domestic settings. It was found that 35 percent of the substantiated elder abuse cases in 1994 involved adult children as abusers. "Other relatives" ranked as the second most frequent abusers (13.6 percent) and spouses with 13.4 percent.

In 1994, the majority of abusers were female (52.4 percent) and slightly more than three-fifths of victims were females (62.1 percent). Similarly, about three-fifths of self-neglecting elders were also females (62.4 percent).

The median age of elder abuse victims was 76.4 years, according to 1994 data that excluded self-neglecting elders.

NCEA is operated by a consortium of the American Public Welfare Association (APWA), the National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA), the University of Delaware, and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), with funding assistance from the Administration on Aging (AoA).

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