Elder Abuse Victims Often Reluctant to Get Help

Even though awareness of elder abuse continues to increase, there is still a huge gap between the number of older Americans who suffer elder abuse and the number of cases that are actually reported. Of course, it’s not hard to guess a key reason for this discrepancy…

…elder abuse is most often perpetrated by a trusted family member or caregiver. That makes the victim reluctant to seek help. Often, they fear an investigation will lead to more abuse. ”A lot of times when I go out to talk to an alleged victim, they’re really downplaying it…Nothing they want to talk about, or nothing they want anything done about.”

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For every case of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation that is reported, the National Center on Elder Abuse estimates there are about five more cases that are not reported. And the Senate Special Committee on Aging estimates that as many as 5 million older Americans may be victims of elder abuse every year!

What can you do to stop elder abuse? For concise information on the types of elder abuse, warning signs of elder abuse, how to prevent elder abuse, and what to do if you suspect elder abuse, check out this free factsheet from the National Center on Elder Abuse.