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Elder Abuse Attorney Discusses Why Elder Abuse is on the Rise

Garcia & Artigliere

To most people, the notion of elder abuse – of inflicting physical, emotional or even financial injury on one of the most vulnerable segments of our population – is reprehensible. Yet statistics show that elder abuse is on the rise in the United States, with some studies indicating that 1 in 10 elderly adults will suffer abuse. Why are incidents of elder abuse increasing? Elder abuse attorneys believe that there are several factors at play: The vast majority of elder abuse cases have gone unreported, with some estimating that as few as 1 in 14 cases actually come to the attention of authorities. Fortunately, as more people learn the signs of elder abuse, underreporting is beginning to decline – but as it does, elder abuse statistics will undoubtedly reflect this increase in reportage as a surge in cases. On one hand, it is tragic to realize how many elderly people are being abused or exploited; on the other hand, it is far better that these cases are being recognized and reported now more than ever before.

  1. Scams are becoming more prevalent, and easier to execute, in our digital age. This is a particular concern with financial abuse, as many senior citizens are taken in by Internet-based scams involving websites or even direct solicitations via email that can deplete their bank accounts or leave them susceptible to robbery or even violence from individuals with whom they have unwittingly shared personal information.
  2. Neglect is one of the primary reasons why elder abuse may go unnoticed and can be a form of abuse in and of itself when perpetrated by a caregiver. Elderly individuals who are victims of neglect on the part of their caregivers may suffer from bedsores, dehydration, starvation, untreated illness, poor living conditions and more, leading to serious injury or death. Meanwhile, neglecting to carefully monitor the condition of an elderly loved one who resides in an assisted living facility can lead to ignorance of abuse symptoms.

The best way to prevent elder abuse is through awareness: First, of what the signs and symptoms of elder abuse are, and second, of how your elderly loved one is doing and whether they display any of those symptoms. Keep in mind that elder abuse can be difficult to determine because many older people are unable – or unwilling – to communicate about the situation. Vigilance is the strongest defense against elder abuse and our greatest hope for diminishing its occurrence in the future.

To learn more about what you can do to prevent elder abuse of your loved one, contact the law firm of Garcia & Artigliere today at (800) 328-2630 or online at


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