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Elder Abuse is a Growing Concern, says AMAC

abuse Elder SeniorThe authorities need to act but friends and families are the first line of defense

WASHINGTON, DC – As the population ages, incidents of elder abuse increase, according to the World Health Organization.  WHO estimates that almost 17% of seniors 60 years of age and older have experienced some form of abuse over the past 12 months.

“Nearly 42 million residents of the U.S. are 60 years old.  That means more than seven million seniors were ill-treated by caregivers, family members and even friends last year.  But, the alarming fact is that segment of the population is growing exceptionally fast.  In fact, each day 10,000 more citizens turn 65.  The Census Bureau estimates that by the year 2035, 78 million citizens and immigrants living in America will be 65 years old and older.  Does that mean 17% of them, 13 or 14 million seniors, will be in danger of being victimized,” asks Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

It is up to state and local governments to ensure that vulnerable senior citizens are protected, but it is also a responsibility for friends and family.

Most of the abuse takes place in institutional settings.  Nearly two-thirds of abuse takes place in institutional settings such as nursing homes.  The onus is on the public sector authorities that oversee those facilities to make sure those who are being cared for in those residences are safe.

Weber has called on government overseers to use their powers to ensure the safety of nursing home residents.  “Family members need to get involved, too.  They need to thoroughly check out facilities for loved ones who need them.  They must find out if there is a past history of abuse.  Once a family member takes up residency in a home, they should make regular, unscheduled visits to make sure they are not being mistreated.”

However, nearly 16% of abuse takes place in a victims’ own homes, whether they are living alone or with family members.  “And, it is up to friends and family members to look in on them on a regular basis and deal with any threatening situations.  An errant caregiver and even a frustrated son, daughter, niece or nephew may be engaging in physical, psychological or financial abuse.  But it can’t be spotted and stopped if a responsible third party is not keeping tabs on an at-risk friend or relative.”

Weber suggests that when engaging a professional caregiver, make sure you do a thorough background check.  But, he says, it is important to provide the individual you hire with fair terms of employment—including ensuring that he or she has a manageable work schedule.  “It’s a difficult, and sometimes thankless job.  They must have a routine that allows for breaks when needed.”

And, lest it is overlooked, the patient may also be a victim of self-neglect, a condition that is particularly prevalent among those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.



The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at

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1 year ago

I agree, I have spent many hours in my local Senior Center and have talked to a couple of women who are being abused by their own children. One woman is dropped off when the Center opens at 8 a.m. by her daughter and then picked up again at 5 p.m. This woman is in her 80’s and uses a walker. It’s called free babysitting. Another woman in her mid 80’s has to hire an Uber driver to bring her to and from the Center each day. She too, uses a walker and doesn’t leave to go home before 6… Read more »

1 year ago

There are other circumstances as well. We are going through an extremely hard time with my mother. She is 88 living alone in her house. She shows all the signs of dementia but will not see any medical professionals. She has decided her entire family wants her money and house and is against her. There is no reason for this opinion. The laws in Our state prohibit any forced medical evaluations or interventions outside of petitioning the courts. We haven’t wanted to do that. If asked she would say she is being abused by her family. If asked she would… Read more »

Cindy Baker
1 year ago

We need to remember these seniors were once vibrant and amazing people. Remind ourselves they were independent and carefree. Most people don’t think about where they’ll be at that age but they should really try to plan ahead. Watching someone who was so responsible waste away is hard. Pray for patience.

1 year ago

The golden dream for the masses has just not materialized. Out expectations where based on false premises. The left dangles socialism as the fix when the Constitution never promised you a golden life, just a fair crack at it.

Thomas H
1 year ago

I believe that 17% is a VERY low estimate!

1 year ago

sorry, but the elderly (of which I am one) are becoming such a large burden so fast that it is nearly impossible to take care of them all- when you strain your caretaker infrastructure to its limit, you can expect sub par performance

James Kelly
1 year ago

This all happens in ‘gun free zones’.

1 year ago

We’re not the world health ort

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