Elder abuse underreported
June 02, 2011
IN THE NEWS: A Los Angeles Times article about a California woman prosecuted for elder abuse notes that there are disputes about what elder abuse is and just how much of it occurs. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, between 1 million and 2 million Americans 65 or older have been “injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.”
But for every report, it is believed that five more incidents never come to the attention of authorities. Dr. Laura Mosqueda, director of the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect at UC Irvine, has begun studying elder deaths in California to figure out what coroners view as normal and what they consider “older adults being neglected to death.”
Mosqueda believes that medical examiners under-report elder abuse deaths because of a sense that the victims are old and will die anyway.
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