Is Abuse of the Elderly Growing into an Unspoken National Crisis?
There is a growing crisis within the United States. Elderly abuse is a long-standing issue that has grown increasingly worse throughout the past decade. In the broadest of terms, the abuse of an elderly person can be defined as “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.”
Understanding the Complexity of Elder Abuse
There are seven different types of elder abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional and psychological abuse
- Financial and material exploitation
Within each of the aforementioned types of abuse, there are a number of sub-categories, which makes it harder to accurately track the extent and degree of elderly abuse on a national level. With this in mind, the U.S. Census Bureau recently released data that showed the number of individuals who are 65+ will double from 44.7 million (in 2013) to an expected 88.5 million (in 2050). As the elderly population continues to grow, the number of incidences of elder abuse is expected to also increase.
Recognizing and Stopping Elder Abuse in Its Tracks
One of the first steps towards recognizing and stopping elder abuse is to understand how and where the abuse occurs most often. Experts at the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) have reported that neglect is the most common type of abuse, followed by physical abuse, financial and material exploitation, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and unclassified types of abuse. Since the majority of these types of abuse occur within a domestic setting, it is hard to know exactly how many elderly individuals are affected.
To combat elder abuse, family members, friends, community members, and elderly care providers must remain vigilant when they are conducting an in-home visit. If elder abuse is suspected, then the instance must be reported to the authorities. Sadly, the NCEA projects that for every reported case of elder abuse, approximately five cases will remain unreported. This astounding statistic needs to change before elder abuse becomes a full-blown national crisis.
Do you suspect that an older individual in your life is being subjected to elderly abuse? Do you want to seek action from an elder abuse attorney to help protect this individual? If so, contact a member of the law firm of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby via www.lawgarcia.com or by calling 1-800-281-8515.