A new article takes a look at the disappointing statistics and misunderstandings surrounding elder abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that 10% of senior citizens will suffer from neglect or abuse at some point in their lives.
The University of California-Irvine School of Medicine’s Director of Geriatrics explains that family members are most typically those responsible for the abuse, as opposed to caregivers as many might think. She explains that adult children and spouses, unable to cope with the stress of taking care of an elderly loved one, will lash out physically.
But as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department explains, abuse doesn’t have to be limited to the physical realm. He explains that, because our nation’s senior citizens actually control a majority of the nation’s wealth, there is marked potential for someone to take advantage of a loved one. A family member will get ahold of the power of attorney privilege, for instance, and use it for their own ends rather than to take care of an elderly loved one. They might also sell off numerous possessions and take the money without the owner being ready to give up those items.
All citizens should be on the lookout for things like bruises and signs of neglect, as well as sudden yard sales that could indicate financial abuse. When you’re concerned about the abuse potential, get in touch with the police or Adult Protective Services.