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J Elder Abuse Negl. 2019 Mar 21:1-16. doi: 10.1080/08946566.2019.1590275. [Epub ahead of print]

Abuse, neglect and exploitation in assisted living: an examination of long-term care ombudsman complaint data.

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a The Senior Source , Dallas , TX , USA.
b School of Social Work , The University of Texas at Arlington , Arlington , TX , USA.


Long-term care ombudsmen are advocates who empower and assist residents with complaints relating to quality of care and violations of resident rights in assisted living (AL) and skilled nursing facilities (SNF). Given that long-term care residents are vulnerable to elder abuse, neglect and exploitation (ANE), and existing gaps in the literature addressing ANE in AL, more research is needed to understand the prevalence of ANE in these communities. Ombudsman complaint data (n = 140,497 complaints) in 3,171 Texas long-term care facilities were analyzed using proportion Z tests. Findings showed that SNF had higher rates of ANE per resident. For both AL and SNF, verbal/psychological abuse was the most reported type of ANE and sexual abuse was the least reported. AL residents had disproportionately high rates of financial exploitation. We explored factors that may contribute to these findings and recommend strategies for preventing ANE.


Elder abuse; assisted living; financial exploitation; long-term care ombudsman

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