As the Baby Boom generation ages and the average age of Americans rises, more attention is being paid by academics, sociologists and the general population to issues of the elderly.
Nursing homes are a growth industry due to this demographic shift, and this has made it difficult for regulatory and licensing agencies to properly and adequately supervise and inspect them and their employees. This has led to more cases of abuse than in previous years, although the data is too premature to suggest a definitive conclusion as to the actual rate of abuse. The cases run the full gamut from physical and emotional abuse to neglect and stealing Social Security checks.
Even more difficult to measure and control is the degree of abuse of the elderly in private families and homes, outside of the public eye, not to mention the financial scams and phony solicitations that victimize some of our most vulnerable citizens. I think these issues will get worse before they get better.