THE DYNAMICS OF ELDER ABUSE

Before going into further discussions about the financial exploitation of the elderly, I thought that it would be important to discuss some dynamics.

Seniors, according to recent studies are the fastest growing population in the world. In fact, according to http://www.seniorliving.about.com, “this increase can be attributed to “advances in science, technology and medicine leading to reductions in infant and maternal mortality, infectious and parasitic diseases, occupational safety measures, and improvements in nutrition and education.” It also stated that in 2000, “approximately 605 million people were 60 years or older. By 2050, that number is expected to be close to 2 billion. At that time, seniors will outnumber children 14 and under for the first time in history.” Also, people over 50 account for three quarters of the world’s wealth.
This has effected Social Security, retirement and pension plans, which uses actuarial tables, cost of health care, employment and housing. It should be noted that seniors account for over 50% of “discretionary spending power” in our country.’

In Australia, this has had a definite impact on the economy. According to Brad Crouch (2013) in the article Baby Boomers’ Can’t Retire at 65, Must Keep Working Longer,  Ageing Minister Mark Butler on http://www.adelaidenow.com.au, the pension bill has “rocketed from $16 billion to $21 billion. Butler has proposed that this group need to work longer in order to maintain their economy. He also referred to this group as being the “healthiest, wealthiest, best-educated generation of retirees in human history.”

Why are these facts important?  They are important because many baby boomers had planned their financial futures on their parents’ demise.  Also, the economy has also affected how seniors are being victimized.

Elder abuse has become the new “dirty secret” of the family. It strikes so close to home that families are embarrassed to admit that this occurs in their families. Many of the victims do not report it for the very same reason children do not report child abuse.  They are threatened, embarrassed or for some reason, feel as if it they are the blame.

Elder abuse has grown rapid in record numbers across this country. According the National Center for Elder Abuse/Administration (NCEA), http://www.ncea.aoa.gov, “elder abuse is an under-recognized problem with devastating and even life-threatening consequences.” NCEA along with the White House have initiated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Next week, I will further discuss the financial exploitation of the elderly. Please feel free to leave your comments or questions.

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