Upon hearing of elder abuse, many people ask, “Why would anyone ever want to hurt an elderly family member or someone under his or her care?” Unfortunately, the numbers related to elder abuse show that the real question should be “How can we stop the explosion of elder abuse in our country?”
The rate of elder abuse in the United States is staggering. At an estimated 5 million people over the age of 65 are abused each year according to the National Elder Mistreatment Study. The elderly who have been abused have both a higher rate of hospitalization as well as a higher rate of commitment to a nursing home. A significant amount of money is also attached to treating those elderly victims who are abused; approximately $5.3 billion is spent each year.
While the numbers are startling, the real issue goes beyond the numbers to encompass the human suffering being inflicted upon these 5 million elderly people. From intentional neglect for those who need care to credit card theft and sexual assault, these people are victims of serious crimes. Elder abuse has been found to cause premature death in many of the victims.
Unlike traffic crimes that are visible and observable, or crimes against younger people, these crimes happen to people who tend to be isolated and have limited methods of communicating or even of knowing of some of these actions. This makes setting up a system against such crimes more difficult. However, as the baby boomer generation ages, this demographic group is only getting larger and the potential for such crimes increases.
Some groups who focus on elder abuse have started to make headway in reaching clear-cut ways of solving this problem. It is important that people understand actions that they can take to defend the elderly from these crimes. As this problem sees continued critical thinking and funding, we can hope that the number starts to decrease.
However, for those who have already been abused it is too late. All family members can do is comfort them and prosecute the predators who perpetrate these evils. One way is by charging these people with the crime and with the cost of the injuries inflicted. However, this may not compensate the victims for their losses. In order to receive full compensation, the victims may need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The Sam Harding Law Firm in Las Vegas can help. Victims of elder abuse will find compassionate, caring and professional assistance from Sam Harding, who has years of experience in litigating elder abuse cases. Contact Sam Harding today for more information.