28 January, 2013
As America's baby boomers age, far more seniors are being added to a vulnerable population. The number of victims is estimated at 2 million a year.
DAN SEWELL / The Associated Press
MASON, Ohio — She raised her hands to her snow-white hair in a gesture of bewilderment, then slowly lowered them to cover eyes filling with tears. The woman, in her 70s, is trying to explain how she wound up in a shelter that could well be where she spends the rest of her life.
Caregiver Kim Bauer navigates an elderly woman’s wheelchair at the Cedar Village retirement community in Mason, Ohio. The woman, who is in her 70s, was allegedly abused by a relative. Cases of elder abuse typically go undetected, experts say, because the abuse – often by family members – is not reported due to embarrassment or fear.
The Associated Press
An elderly woman watches "I Love Lucy" on a television inside her room at Cedar Village retirement community in Mason, Ohio. The Shalom Center, which is a part of the community, offers shelter, along with medical, psychological and legal help, to elderly abuse victims in this northern Cincinnati suburb. The center asked that this woman's identity be protected for this story because the close relatives who allegedly abused her don't know where she is.
The Associated Press
ELDER ABUSE CAN TAKE MANY FORMS
As many as 2 million older Americans are abused in various ways each year, experts estimate. The majority of cases are at the hands of relatives or other caregivers. Some of the forms, besides physical assault, that elder abuse can take:
• Inappropriate use of drugs and physical restraints.
• Treating the elderly person as if he or she were a small child.
• Failure to provide sufficient food, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medication, comfort or safety.
• Isolating the person from friends, family, other social activities.
• Deserting the person.
• Misusing the person’s funds, property and assets.
Source: New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
SOURCE: Portland Press Herald
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