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Elder Abuse: Opportunities to Make a Difference

April 16, 2012

Ann McMillan, Program Director, Grantmakers In Health

In the past several decades, remarkable strides have been made in addressing the devastating issue of interpersonal violence—both child abuse and neglect, as well as intimate partner violence. Sadly, however, the issue of elder abuse lags behind these advances. Mistreatment of the elderly is a complex issue because of the varied forms it takes and because of the growing number of vulnerable seniors and caregivers both at institutions and in community settings. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Aging Initiative reports that approximately 40.3 Americans were age 65 and older in 2010 and projects that this figure will grow to more than 72 million by 2030 (EPA 2011). Prevalence data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that between 1 and 2 million U.S. residents age 65 or older have been abused, neglected, or exploited (CDC 2012a; CDC 2012b).

PDF Format Issue Focus: 4-16-12