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Overview of Elder Abuse

America’s baby boomers are beginning to join the ranks of the elderly population. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that their collective graduation to the next stage of life will raise the percentage of people aged 65 or older to 20% of the population by 2050, and 19 million of those people will be aged 85 or older.

Unfortunately, with a growing elderly population comes a growing elder abuse issue. The website of The Benton Law Firm reports that legal actions should be taken if you or a family member have been injured or abused by another party. According to a national study, 90% of the time the abuser is a family member, and the victim does not want to get a child or partner in trouble. Abusers’ actions are also exacerbated by substance abuse, mental illnesses, and a feeling of being burdened by caretaking responsibilities.

Elder abuse can take several different forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and financial abuse. Each type of abuse leaves different kinds of marks on a victim. This article can help you recognize signs that an elderly person you know may be enduring abuse.

The unfortunate impact of elder abuse, beyond the physical and mental scarring on the victim, is a 300% increase in risk of death. Abuse also amplifies more typical health problems the victim may have, such as high blood pressure, or issues with the heart or digestive system. If you suspect that an elderly person close to you is being abused, you should call the nearest Adult Protective Services office to report your concerns.