As America’s population ages, the issues of elder abuse, unfortunately, increase as well. Elder abuse is defined as the intentional act or failure to act by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. There are five types of abuse.America’s seniors 65 and up make up nearly 15 of the population. At least 10 percent will experience some form of abuse each year. And nearly 20 percent of the rural population will be 65 years and older. This according to a study published by the Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/file/1098056/download
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the annual loss from victims of financial abuse along is nearly $37 billion. https://ncea.acl.gov//About-Us/What-We-Do/Research/Statistics-and-Data
From a standpoint of abuse in institutions, nearly 12 percent is due to neglect by staffers or caregivers. Neglect encompasses the refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or duties of care to an elder, which include hydration, clothing, personal hygiene, medicine, and personal safety.
When you consider these trending figures, it is not a surprise that the numbers of for how many of our seniors are suffering from abuse is underreported.
Elder abuse is rarely prosecuted as a crime, explains Elder Abuse attorney Jeffrey J. Downey. Even in some of the most egregious neglect cases, it is rare to see the perpetrator being prosecuted criminally. However, law enforcement does work with adult protective services on cases and agencies investigating elder abuse and neglect need to be familiar with the resources that are available to them. This link explains how prosecutors are working with adult protective service agencies to criminally prosecute elder neglect.
The issues of elder abuse are not just here in the United States. On June 15th, the United Nations will hold events surrounding World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). You can find more details as the events leading up to the day and beyond here. https://eldermistreatment.usc.edu/weaad-home/
If you or a loved one have experienced or know someone who has experience elder abuse, contact the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, P.C. for a free consultation.