Protective service agencies across the country are ill-equipped to handle a growing number of elder abuse cases, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Elder abuse is a general term used to describe certain types of harm against older adults. Not all elder abuse is physical. Older people can be exploited financially, psychologically and emotionally.
Nursing home abuse is one common form of elder abuse. As many as one third of all nursing homes in the U.S. have been cited for some form of violation, and about ten percent have been cited for actual physical abuse. Click here for a good resource on choosing the right nursing home in Oregon.
In recent testimony before Congress, ninety year old acting legend Mickey Rooney gave a tearful account of his experience as a victim of elder abuse (video). Thanks to Rooney’s involvement, this tragic social problem is receiving much needed attention, including recent articles in the New York Times and Salon.
The GAO report recommends the creation of a national elder abuse resource center to help educate local agencies involved in elderly care. Senator Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat, has reintroduced a bill that would establish an Office of Elder Justice in the U.S. Justice Department.
Visit the National Center for Elder Abuse for more information
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