HuffPost: Action Needed Now to End Elder Abuse Among the Poor

John William Springs, a retiree who gets nearly $12,000 a year in Social Security and disability checks, is $1,300 above the poverty threshold: officially, not poor.

From our colleague, Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of NSCLC: 


Imagine your aunt lives alone on a limited, fixed income, and you recently found out that her grandson had moved into the house she owns, locked her in a bedroom behind a steel-grated door, and began dealing drugs in the living room.

Sadly, this is a true story. Because of the crime occurring near and in Vicki Bastion’s home in Hayward, California, the city was considering taking her home and institutionalizing her. Fortunately, her situation was recognized as a case of elder abuse and, thanks to the efforts of her niece, local Adult Protective Services officials and local law enforcement, the abuse ended and she was able to stay in her own home.

But there are thousands of other low-income older adults like Ms. Bastion who are victims of abuse every day in America. Despite progress in recent years and the passing of federal legislation to address the issue, the problem screams for more attention and action.

According to a 2010 study appearing in the American Journal of Public Health(AJPH), abuse among America’s elderly is, unfortunately, prevalent. It manifests in many forms: psychological, physical, sexual, financial abuse and neglect all which threaten seniors in our community. The study found that 4.6 percent of participants experienced emotional mistreatment, 1.6 percent physical mistreatment and 5 percent experienced neglect.

Continue reading here:

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
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