Are You One Of 500,000 Being Abused?
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 500,000
older adults are abused or neglected each year. This number is probably low
because many victims are unable or afraid to report it. Also, professionals and
family members may miss signs of abuse.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health
found that one out of 10 older people experienced abuse—not including financial
abuse, which is the most prevalent form of elder abuse. The annual loss from
victims of elder financial exploitation was estimated to be nearly $3 billion
Elder abuse is a growing problem with devastating
consequences. Elders who experience abuse, even modest abuse, have a much
higher risk of death and also have more health care problems such as depression,
high blood pressure, and digestive and heart problems, according to the
National Center on Elder Abuse.
About one-third of
all people age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. A 2009 study found that
nearly half of people with dementia experienced abuse (mostly verbal abuse).