Affecting nearly ten percent of Americans over 60, elder abuse is a serious crime that affects the older and more vulnerable. Elder abuse is a general term used to describe crimes like physical, psychological, sexual and financial abuses. Unfortunately, in the United States, some states do not do as much as others in protecting their older population from being exploited. A recent study reported on the best performing states when it comes to handling elder abuse.
The study used three metrics to determine the performance and scoring of each state:
- Prevalence - How frequently elder abuse cases were reported, estimated fraud rate and the amount lost in reported elder fraud cases.
- Resources - The amount spent on various methods of elder abuse prevention programs.
- Protection - Presence of elder abuse shelters, increased quality of assisted-living facilities and elder abuse laws.
Best States for Elder Abuse Protection
While some states continue to do poorly each year, many are constantly improving and implementing new ways to protect their elderly citizens. Read the complete study to see where your state ranks. The five best performing states with elder abuse protections are:
- 20th in Prevalence, 1st in Resources, 11th in Protection
- 7th in Prevalence, 5th in Resources, 19th in Protection
- 6th in Prevalence, 8th in Resources, 16th in Protection
- Virginia (6th in 2020)
- 14th in Prevalence, 9th in Resources, 30th in Protection
- West Virginia
- 13th in Prevalence, 15th in Resources, 20th in Protection
Protecting Our Elders
Elder abuse appears in different forms, like neglect, financial exploitation and even caregiver theft. It is estimated that about 1 in 24 cases are reported to authorities, which is why it is essential to ensure all elders receive their necessary protections. According to Dr. Fei Sun, a social science professor at Michigan State University, education is key in protecting the more vulnerable.
“Education is one of the most powerful tools there is to protect older adults from financial fraud and abuse,” he said. “By providing skills and strategies to older adults, [they can] identify financial abuse or fraud before becoming a victim, assign a durable power of attorney and have advanced care planning.”
Call Us Today
It is important to make sure our elderly population receives the protection they need. Virginia is a top 5 state when it comes to elder law so we know just the kind of care and compassion your loved ones need. If you suspect that elder abuse has taken place against someone you know, call your Obenshain Law Group team today for a free consultation. Our lawyers will help you receive the compensation and justice your loved ones deserve.Call our office today at (540) 318-7360 or visit our website to fill out a free consultation.