On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, our nation joins the world in voicing our opposition to elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. On this day, the Department of Justice extends its support to elder victims and their loved ones, recognizing with gratitude those who have committed their lives to protecting older Americans, and affirms its unwavering commitment to combatting elder mistreatment in all its forms.
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that that the population of Americans over 65 years of age will increase to 83.7 million in 2050, nearly double its estimated population of 43.1 million as of the most recent census. While many Americans are enjoying longer, healthier lives, far too many older Americans are suffering in the shadows. Some studies suggest that 10 percent of seniors may suffer some form of physical abuse, psychological or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation or neglect. Likewise, other studies suggest that older adults may suffer billions in losses as a result of financial fraud, and that being victimized by financial fraud could lead to higher rates of hospitalization and mortality.
“On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Department of Justice gives voice to those who have suffered from elder abuse, neglect, fraud and exploitation and commits to supporting those who combat elder mistreatment every day,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “The department is dedicated to actively working with our federal agency partners as well as state, local and international law enforcement, prosecutors and civil attorneys, counselors and case workers, and healthcare professionals to address the growing problem of crime targeting the nation’s seniors.”