The elderly population is increasing in the United States, as life spans are longer than ever. According to the Population Reference Bureau, there were more than 46 million people older than 65 years old in the United States in 2016. By 2020, that figure is estimated to increase to 98 million, which means that segment of our population would jump from 15% of the total population to 24% of the total population.
In future years, the Population Reference Bureau predicts a significant increase in the level of nursing home care needed to serve our elderly population. In 2010, approximately 1.3 million people over the age of 65 required nursing home care. By 2030, that number could increase to 2.3 million. Care for elderly people with Alzheimer’s is also expected to increase. In 2013, 5 million elderly Americans were living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, there will be an estimated 14 million people with that condition.
With the number of people needing nursing home or long-term care expected to increase, nursing home admission statistics are bound to follow. A problem in nursing homes now is when staff members, including aides, nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), subject residents to different forms of abuse. One of the biggest ways of mistreating a resident is by committing emotional abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse take place when one acts in a manner that causes emotional pain and distress, and it can include verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation, per the National Council on Aging.