Elder Abuse Rises as US Population Ages

Aging Population Faces Increasing Number of Abuses

As a vast sector of the US population reaches old age and the systems in place to supervise its care remain inadequate, instances of elder abuse will continue to rise. This includes not only the physical and emotional abuse of the elderly in nursing homes and care facility, but also financial exploitation and abuse at the hands of family, friends, caregivers, and financial advisors.

As many as 1 in 10 senior Americans are subject to abuse or neglect of some kind every year in this country.
— US Dept Health and Human Services

The US Department of Health and Human Services recently suggested that as many as 1 in 10 senior Americans are subject to abuse or neglect of some kind every year in this country. Worse, these estimates are always careful to note that perhaps the majority of abuse cases go unreported — many out of fear, isolation, or cognitive incapacity.

Abuse, Bad Enough, Also Results in Higher Risk of Death Among Elderly

A study by the National Center on Aging (NCOA) reported that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities. The report also stated that approximately 60% of elder abuse incidents are perpetrated by family members, especially children and spouses. Abuse among this frail and fragile population is more consequential than in younger citizens. According to NCOA, elders who are abused have a 300% greater risk of death than those who have not been mistreated.

Financial Exploitation of the Elderly Is A Massive and Growing Problem

The AARP’s Public Policy Institute recently suggested that, as one of the most common forms of elder abuse, elder financial exploitation may affect up to 1 in 5 senior Americans and drain them, collectively of approximately of $3 billion per year. Nor does this stupendous loss affect only them. Family members and heirs are also damaged by losses they might otherwise have inherited.

Financial Regulators Have Gotten Proactive About Elder Financial Abuse

As we’ve reported repeatedly in this blog, US financial regulators and authorities have become more and more concerned about elder financial abuse. In an effort to staunch the flow of funds leaving seniors’ accounts and ending up in the hands of opportunistic family members and financial advisors, the securities industry authority, FINRA, has issued new rules to assist broker-dealers in managing clients who are in decline. Likewise, the banking industry is working hard to put in place monitoring systems that detect suspicious activity in the accounts of elderly or infirm customers.

Pennsylvania & New Jersey Elder Abuse Attorneys

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If you or someone you know has been the victim of elder abuse or fraud, please contact our attorneys immediately for a free consultation at 215 462 3330 or by using our online contact form.

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