We hear a lot about abuse of older adults, but this really isn't very common is it?
YES. The low numbers of reported cases of elder abuse do not explain the magnitude of elder abuse in this country. Latest figures estimate more than 551,000 reported cases (of physical, verbal and sexual types of neglect or abuse) of abuse to persons over 60 years per year. (There are more than 30 million Americans over 60 years). Actual reported cases represent a fraction of what is thought to occur due to perceived fearful consequences and inconsistent and inefficient reporting mechanisms. Self neglect and exploitative types of abuse were not part of the above study and yet are more common. Men and women are equally culpable in the perpetration of abuse.
Linda Breytspraak, Center on Aging Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Last update: Tuesday, March 14, 2006