Research in Brief
Elder Abuse in Care Facilities: Current State and Suggestions for Preventive Measures
Elder abuse and the rights of older persons have become issues of growing public interest since, with the amendment in 2004 to the Welfare of Senior Citizens Act, provisions were laid down for the prevention of elder abuse. However, cases of elder abuse―acts that pose a threat to the safety and rights of older persons―have continued to increase since 2005, when the data were first collected. According to the Elder Abuse Report published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the number of elder abuse counselling cases handled at 34 local elder protection agencies nationwide doubled to 5,243 in 2019 from 2,674 in 2009. In that 10-year period, residential facilities including long-term care homes saw a nine-fold increase in the number of elder abuse cases. Victims of elder abuse in residential care facilities are among the most vulnerable in society, who, mostly aged with dementia or little ability to express themselves, require increased attention and active intervention. This study examines the current state and causes of institutional elder abuse and discusses what should be done to prevent abuse from occurring in elder facilities.