Some argue that elder abuse may be one of the largest areas of concern. Why? Do you think we need to pay special focus to the victimization of the elderly? If so, what should we do?

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It is important to pay attention to all forms of victimization, especially of the most vulnerable among us. That would include the disabled, the elderly, those with mental health problems, and children. The reason for this is a moral one. While we should behave in an ethical fashion to everyone, healthy middle-class adults with no physical or mental disabilities or other issues are normally capable of taking care of themselves, but the frail or mentally impaired elderly may need extra help. This is especially important as people are now living longer and the elderly are an increasingly large portion of our population.

Elder abuse is a growing issue in the United States. Those most at risk of abuse are the frail elderly who need assistance in daily living, those who suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairments, and those without close living family members. As women tend to outlive men, they are more likely to end up widowed and thus potential targets for abuse or fraud.

Several things can be done about this. The first is strict regulation and regular inspections of assisted living facilities. Increased financial protection can include a system of alerts on bank accounts and other steps to prevent fraud or identity theft. Healthcare fraud is another ongoing issue. Since many of the elderly rely on Medicare, this means that the CMS can work diligently to prevent healthcare fraud and review treatments of the elderly to ensure that they are getting adequate care.

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