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02/12

Pain on Several Fronts – A Look at the Damage Done by Elder Abuse

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

elder_abuseMost people would react strongly to the revelation that there was a potentially correctable problem in the United States that led to more than $8 billion in losses. Most people would react strongly to the realization that an older person that they know was being physically, emotionally, sexually or even financially abused. Most would not sit and wait and hope that something would be done about it by someone. Most would also assume that a high level of energy would be put forth by the population as a whole to work to eradicate this terrible conduct.

Yet here we are, and society is losing more than $8 billion per year because of different forms of elder abuse. Studies also show that approximately 4 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 experience some form of abuse. Some of these findings can be found in a recent informational piece that was released by the National Center on Elder Abuse, or the NCEA. A lot of different information can be found here, but we’d like to focus on what the NCEA refers to as the impact of elder abuse.

The most startling fact regarding elder abuse is that those older Americans who had experienced even moderate abuse faced a 300-percent higher risk of death when compared to their counterparts who had not been abused. Elder abuse survivors had also experienced a higher level of psychological distress, which should come as no surprise. Those older people who had been abused also faced a higher likelihood of different types of health problems that those who had not been harmed. Examples of those health problems include:

  • Bone problems
  • Joint problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic pain
  • Heart problems

In addition, the fiscal losses associated with this growing problem have also skyrocketed. According to the data, direct medical costs associated with this abuse are approximately $5.3 billion per year. Another $2.9 billion was lost as a result of financial abuse in 2009, according to one study that was done. Altogether, that comes to more than $23.5 million in losses every single day.

This is a very serious problem, and it’s one that is only going to get worse in the future as more and more people in the United States reach and pass the age of 65. That’s why it’s important for anyone and everyone to take steps to help bring these numbers down. Some government agencies are working on it, as are local advocacy groups, concerned citizens and even individuals who want to help make a difference in some way.

What you need to do if you or someone you love has been abused in this manner is to stand up and hold those responsible for this despicable type of treatment accountable. You can start by seeking the advice of Las Vegas elder abuse lawyers who have been protecting and restoring the safety and dignity of clients in the area for 30 years. Contact Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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