Abusers of the Elderly Usually Know Their Victims
According to the CDC, the definition of elder abuse includes any action or inaction that betrays trust and either harms or increases the risk of harm to adults who are aged 60 or over. This abuse could be physical, emotional, or even financial in nature. Sadly, most victims know their abusers.
A group of senior advocates, including elder law lawyers, presented some staggering information about elder abuse around the country:
- Most surprising, experts estimate that 90 percent of perpetrators are acquainted with their victims, and many are family members or caretakers.
- American seniors lose about $36 billion every year because of financial abuse.
- In one study of Erie County, New York, financial abuse was the most commonly investigated abuse against seniors, followed by physical abuse.
- In that study, about 10 percent of the abusers were also the victim’s caregivers.
An executive of Legal Services for the Elderly, Karen Nicolson, believes that victims or loved ones never report the vast majority of elderly abuse cases. The problem’s scope could be much worse than the estimates. Legal Services for the Elderly operates as a nonprofit organization that helps seniors and other vulnerable people obtain legal aid.
Since a majority of people who abuse seniors are acquainted with their victims, the lack of reports from victims becomes more understandable. Even other concerned family members or caretakers may be reluctant to report somebody that they know or may even be related to. It might be difficult to accept that abuse is occurring when the abuser is a friend or family member. Often, this abuse occurs inside of a licensed and seemingly reputable nursing home, so it may be hard to accept or uncover.
Get Help from Elder Law Lawyers
Anybody who suspects that they or somebody they know may be the victim of elder abuse can seek help from elder law lawyers. These attorneys will offer advice to help protect seniors from further abuse and will make sure that the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. Call the elder abuse lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere at 1-800-281-8514 for a free and confidential consultation.