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Is Elder Abuse an Underreported Crime?

Garcia & Artigliere

Experts are concerned about the state of elder abuse, according to a new article. They’re concerned that it is increasing and is underreported.

Elder abuse can take many forms: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, self-neglect, financial, exploitation and abandonment. Abuse can go unreported and unnoticed due to its myriad forms — some of which are more difficult to identify than others.

The majority of elder abuse happens to women, according to the American Psychological Association. Abusers are typically male and include adult children, family members, spouses and institutions like nursing homes or care facilities.

Experts are saying elder abuse is increasing in these institutions. A new study by Cornell University-Weill Cornell Medical College found that there is a high number of seniors abusing other seniors in nursing homes. This elder-to-elder abuse affected 19 percent of residents, or nearly one-fifth of all residents.

It was the first study to use direct observation as well as resident interviews to collect data. The extent to which elder-to-elder abuse is happening, uncovered by the study, is alarming to experts, who say this underscores how elder abuse is being overlooked.

Many believe elder abuse will continue to increase unless the public is informed about what is going on and what could get worse. They believe lawyers and lawmakers can help to bring awareness to the issue by speaking to local organizations.

Elder abuse affects around 2 million seniors in the U.S. annually. And this number is expected to rise as the elderly population continues to live longer and healthier lives. The U.S. Census Bureau says the population of people 90 years old and older totaled 1.9 million in 2010. That demographic is expected to quadruple within the next 40 years. Seniors, those who are 65 and older, will comprise 10 percent of the U.S. population by 2050

Elder abuse is a serious and sensitive problem. The skilled and experienced attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere are here to fight for you or a loved one today. Call us at (800) 328-2630, or submit a description of your case online for a free review.

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