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May 29, 2015 by |

Elder Abuse a Growing and Expensive Problem for States

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Although elder abuse is a growing problem in this country, a lack of coordination among states and their various agencies, as well as budgetary issues, makes addressing and preventing this issue very difficult.

Each state has its own budget and infrastructures dedicated to addressing and preventing elder abuse. In some states, to face the increasing number of cases, some professionals are trained to be able to recognize such mistreatment and special agencies have been created to host the victims.. According to some reports, as many as one in every ten people over sixty are abused, but this figure does not include financial exploitation (the estimated cost of financial abuse to its victims is $2.9 billion a year). Nevertheless, the reports are an underestimation of the phenomenon.

There has been a boom in the elder population, but there is still not enough recognition of this matter, and few states are ready to use the necessary means to prevent elder abuse. The Adult Protective Service agencies use various criteria to determine which cases to accept. In Texas, they increased their effectivity in defining whether a senior is abused thanks to new programs instituted by the state.

Since 2012, about twenty laws and resolutions have been adopted to promulgate elderly protection against every kind of abuse in many states. An awareness campaign has been launched in Michigan to improve investigation and prevention. However, there is a lack of coordination between the municipal and the agency systems. As an example, voluntary state standards for joint investigations by agencies have not been adopted by every county in Michigan.

The problem is clearly underestimated by the states, and some programs lack efficiency. That’s why several states now aim to create the first national reporting and data system.

At a federal level, the topic will be addressed to the White House Conference on Aging anticipated this summer. Congress is ready to take into account the projects which are proposed as part of the Elder Justice Act, but the budget to carry out these programs against elder abuse has not been established yet.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse lawsuits, including financial elder abuse cases. If you or a loved one has an elder abuse claim, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at info@evanslaw.com.

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