By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Elder Abuse Attorney
It is difficult to say how many older Americans are abused, neglected, or exploited, in large part because surveillance is limited and the problem remains greatly hidden. Findings from the often cited National Elder Abuse Incidence Study suggest that more than 500,000 Americans aged 60 and over were victims of domestic abuse in 1996.
This study also found that only 16 percent of the abusive situations are referred for help – 84 percent remain hidden. While a couple of studies estimate that between 3 percent and 5 percent of the elderly population have been abused, the Senate Special Committee on Aging estimates that there may be as many as 5 million victims every year.
One consistent finding, over a ten-year study period, is that reports have increased each year.
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