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Abuse Percentages

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According to the best available estimates, between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection. ( Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America. 2003. Washington, DC: National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect.)

Estimates of the frequency of elder abuse range from 2% to 10% based on various sampling, survey methods, and case definitions. (Lachs, Mark S., and Karl Pillemer. October 2004. “Elder Abuse, ” The Lancet, Vol. 364: 1192-1263.)

Data on elder abuse in domestic settings suggest that 1 in 14 incidents, excluding incidents of self-neglect, come to the attention of authorities. (Pillemer, Karl, and David Finkelhor. 1988. “The Prevalence of Elder Abuse: A Random Sample Survey,” The Gerontologist, 28: 51-57.)

Current estimates put the overall reporting of financial exploitation at only 1 in 25 cases, suggesting that there may be at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year. (Wasik, John F. 2000. “The Fleecing of America’s Elderly,” Consumers Digest, March/April.)