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Study Shows Severe Underreporting in Elder Abuse

The National Center on Elder Abuse says adult protective service agencies nationwide tallied 253, 421 reports of elder abuse in 2006. This amounts to 832 cases of elder abuse per 100,000 in that age group. While this may seem like a small number, research has shown that as much as 84 percent of elderly abuse and neglect goes unreported to authorities. This brings the estimate that as many as 5 million older Americans in fact may be victims of elder abuse each year. One state received an increase of 40 percent in elder abuse in six years. Elder abuse has been defined as denying ailing elderly people food, medicine or help with hygiene to ignoring people with Alzheimer’s or dementia who may wander from there home. Unfortunately it can extend to physical abuse or murder. Oftentimes elder abuse falls at the hands of the person’s caregiver. It is vital that the authorities who receive reports of elder abuse are trained to address the problem. Also advocacy groups that educate the public should help reduce the number of unreported elder abuse. To read more about the nursing home study, please click the link.