Elder abuse on the rise in Philadelphia

The instances of elder abuse seem to be on the rise in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Area Agencies on Aging reported that they had received 18,454 reports of abuse in 2011-12. This is up from 11,962 reports just years earlier in 2006-2007.

There may be many reasons to explain the rise in elder abuse including the fact that the number of older people in America is getting bigger as baby boomers age. It could also be due to the fact that there is more awareness of the signs of abuse and knowledge of how to report it. Still, even with the increasing numbers of reported incidents of abuse, experts believe that the amount of reported cases is only one in 14.

Pennsylvania state data shows that the most common type of abuse in elders is self-neglect, followed by caregiver neglect and financial abuse.

Two instances of abuse that took place in assisted-living homes highlight the problem. The family of an 83-year-old woman installed a hidden camera in her room after her daughter noticed that she had bruises on her arms and would flinch when someone attempted to touch her. Two aides were prosecuted after video footage showed them dragging the elderly woman whenever they moved her.

In another case, an 83-year-old Alzheimer’s patient was stomped to death by a caregiver at his assisted-living home. The caregiver was convicted of murder three years after the incident.

If your loved one is living in an assisted living home or nursing home and has been the victim of elder abuse, you may wish to speak with an attorney about your case.

Source: The Intelligencer, “Elder abuse on the rise,” Matt Coughlin and Marion Callahan, Mar. 30, 2014

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