Elderly Abuse A Growing Problem
Citing a lack of knowledge regarding the growing number of elderly abuse incidents across the country, a recent segment from the AARP-produced “Inside E Street” series is attempting to raise awareness by singling out some alarming statistics on the matter.
While most people think of elderly abuse as a somewhat rare problem that only affects patients who are being cared for in nursing homes, the segment cited a National Institute of Justice figure that 1 in 10 healthy adults over the age of 60 are abused.
Furthermore, many of these incidents occur in the home, as a University of California-Irvine study found that 47 percent of dementia patients who are cared for by family members suffer some form of elderly abuse or neglect.
“The typical perpeterator, if there is one, would a lot of times be family members,” said Kelly Burnight, a gerontoligist at the UC Irvine Medical School and the co-director of the Elder Abuse Forensic Center. “90 percent of the times it’s a family member. So in our minds we like to think ‘oh, it’s just a person at a nursing home.’ But in fact, because the vast majority of [elderly] adults live at home and are cared for by family members, it’s the family members who are the perpetrators.”
In order to help those who have been victimized by elder abuse but do not know who to turn to for assistance, Burnight and a group of doctors, social workers, police, and lawyers in Irvine teamed up to form the Elder Abuse Forensic Center. Using their shared expertise on the subject, the group studies potential cases of elder abuse and attempts to help those who may have been victimized get any assistance they may require.
Burnight added that elderly abuse was in no way limited only to physical abuse. Negelect, theft, and psychological abuse are also very common, particularly in incidents that occur at home. She also noted that while economic instability likely plays a role in many cases of elderly abuse, she had seen cases that had occurred in every type of income level; from families who are strapped for cash to those who live in multi-million dollar homes.
No matter what the type of elderly abuse, the segment stressed that any potential signs of abuse should immediately be reported to the authorities so they can be properly investigated.
If you know someone who has been neglected or suffered elderly abuse, contact Sokolove Law today to learn more about pursuing a elderly abuse lawsuit.