Elder Abuse – A Continuously Growing Problem


Elder abuse is becoming a rising issue in our society.  It is estimated that at least one in ten elderly persons has experienced some form of elder abuse each year.  As elder abuse is widely under reported, this statistic may actually be even higher.

The most common type of elder abuse is financial exploitation.  Approximately ninety percent of occurrences of elder abuse involve a person well-known to the elderly person as the perpetrator of the abuse.  The Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, has referred to elder financial abuse as the “signature crime of the 21st century.”

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The Negative Impact of Elder Abuse on Our Society

Victims of elder abuse suffer serious health consequences.  Elderly individuals who are victims of elder abuse are faced with three times greater risk of early death as compared to older people suffering from similar medical conditions but have not been victims of elder abuse.  Also of concern is the fact that victims of elder abuse become four times more likely to have to reside in a nursing home facility, and in addition, are about three times more likely to require admission to a hospital when compared with similarly situated adults.

Recent Advances in Research and Prevention of Elder Abuse

Now that awareness of our society’s problem with elder abuse is increasing; this is leading to an increase in education and research on the topic.  When considering the developments in the last twenty years, there is a positive trend toward more research and development which while hopefully lead to a decline in elder abuse.

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services handles cases involving suspected elder abuse.  If you are concerned that an elderly individual in your life may be a victim of elder abuse, contact the agency to open up an investigation into the matter.

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