Ohio ranks 30th in elder-abuse protection

Staff report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the share of U.S. adults aged 65 and older expected to comprise more than a fifth of the entire population by 2029 and 23 out of 24 elder-abuse cases going unreported every year, the personal-finance website, WalletHub, conducted an in-depth analysis that identifies 2016’s states with the best elder-abuse protections.

To determine which states fight the hardest against elder abuse, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 key metrics. The data set ranges from “share of elder-abuse, gross-neglect and exploitation complaints” to “total expenditures on elder-abuse prevention per resident aged 65 and older” to “financial elder-abuse laws.”

Ohio ranked 30th overall among the 51 entities. The state came in 30th for elder-abuse, gross-neglect and exploitation complaints per resident aged 65 and older; 31st for total expenditures on elder-abuse prevention per resident aged 65 or older; 19th for total expenditures on legal assistance-development per resident aged 65 and older; fifth for total long-term care ombudsman-program funding per resident aged 65 and older; 35th for financial elderly abuse laws; 37th for number of eldercare organizations & services per resident aged 65 and older; fifth for presence of elder-abuse forensic centers; 22nd for number of certified volunteer ombudsmen per resident aged 65 and older; 13th for frequency of assisted-living facilities inspections; and 38th for quality of nursing homes.

States with the best elder-abuse protections were, in rank order, District of Columbia, Nevada, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Iowa, Louisiana, Vermont, Hawaii.

States with the worst protections, with worst last in the list, were, Alabama, Kentucky, Idaho, North Dakota, New Jersey, South Dakota, Rhode Island, California, Wyoming and South Carolina.

Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming have no legislation that protects the elderly from financial crimes.

Alaska has the highest total, long-term-care-ombudsman-program funding per resident aged 65 and older, $11.18, which is 16 times higher than in Nebraska, the state with the lowest at $0.68.

The District of Columbia has the highest number of certified, volunteer ombudsmen per 100,000 residents aged 65 and older, 82.26, whereas both South Dakota and Wyoming have none.

Missouri has the highest frequency of assisted-living facilities inspections, twice per year, which is 10 times higher than in both California and Nebraska, the states with the lowest at once every five years.

North Dakota has the highest nursing-homes quality (share of certified nursing-home beds rated 4 or 5 stars), 62.9 percent, which is two times higher than in Louisiana, the state with the lowest at 27.2 percent.

Staff report