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May 25, 2011

Buncombe County Reports Rise in Abuse of Elderly (USA)


Buncombe County, NC, reports rise in abuse of elderly and mentally disabled adults
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 
May 23, 2011

Abuse of the elderly and other vulnerable adults has more than doubled in Buncombe County over the past few years, a trend that is being echoed across the state, adult services officials said.
In Buncombe County, protective services workers responded to 797 reports of adult abuse last year, compared with 318 cases in 2005, The Asheville-Citizen Times reported Monday.
Nancy Warren, program administrator for the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services, said incidents of elder abuse are also rising elsewhere.
"We're definitely seeing the same pattern across the state," Warren said.
Adult protective services workers in North Carolina have responded to nearly 10,000 reports so far this fiscal year, which ends June 30, according to N.C. Department of Health and Human Services figures. Five years ago, 6,670 cases were reported in a one-year period.
And national research indicates that for every adult abuse complaint filed, as many as two dozen more go unreported, Warren said.
"I don't know what we would do if the actual numbers were reported," Warren said. "It's an enormous problem."
Warren said more active reporting of elder abuse accounts for some of the rise, but other reasons include insufficient support services for mentally disabled individuals, and shorter medical stays without sufficient home follow-up care.



Abridged
SOURCE:    The Daily Journal
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