If you are a baby boomer approaching retirement age, one of the many issues associated with aging that you might need to think about is the possibility of becoming a victim of elder abuse.
According to studies, as many as 2 million seniors are abused every year, though many researchers believe that abuse is widely under reported. Because seniors are often very reluctant to report being victimized by abuse, are unable to recollect it, or were not aware of it occurring, experts say as many as one out of 10 seniors may have been the subject of abuse.
Elder abuse comes in a number of forms, and while most people associate it with physical or sexual acts, seniors can also be the target of emotional, psychological, and financial abuse.
For example, family members who have access to an elderly relative’s financial information sometimes use their position to steal money, open fraudulent accounts in the senior’s name, or otherwise take advantage of the elderly person’s finances.
Compounding the effects of elder abuse is its relatively unknown and unspoken about status in society. When compared to child abuse, for example, elder abuse does not attract the same resources and public attention, even though it is relatively common. As a larger proportion of society becomes elderly, experts say that state and federal government will need to make more resources available to both educate the public about the growing problem, as well as deal with elder abuse incidents in local communities.