Nasty Co-relation: Elder Abuse & Shelter Admissions

1 Feb

This is the first time a link has been suggested of senior abuse and shelter admissions. With their headline: Elder Abuse Leads to Rise in Seniors Seeking Care at Shelters, the Huffington Post’s Dan Sewell provides commendable investigative journalism:

The number of Americans 65 and over is projected to nearly double by 2030 because of the 74 million baby boomers born in 1946-64, and the number of people 85 and over is increasing at an even faster rate. The number of seniors being abused, exploited or neglected every year is often estimated at about 2 million, judging by available statistics and surveys, but experts say the number could be much higher. Some research indicates that 1 in 10 seniors have suffered some form of abuse at least once.

Getting comprehensive numbers of the abused is complicated, experts say, because the vast majority of cases go unreported out of embarrassment, fear of being cut off from family – most abuse is at the hands of relatives – or confusion about what has happened.

Prosecutors often have been reluctant to purse elder abuse cases, which can be complex because of medical and financial complications, the witness’ ability to testify or reluctance to testify against relatives, according to research for the National Institute of Justice.

The line that resonates most strongly with us is: “My argument always is, if all you do is come in when the crisis has occurred, it is much more costly than preventative care. We’re going to have to pay for it anyway.”

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