Saturday, February 17, 2007

Are we protecting our vulnerable elders?

In July, when Anthony Marshall — the only son of well-known philanthropist and socialite Brooke Astor, himself 82 years old — was accused by his own son, Philip, of mistreating Astor and forcing her to live in what her grandson described as wretched conditions, elder abuse was much in the news. After all, the stories implied, if a woman worth some $45 million could be mistreated, with her own son allegedly refusing to spend money for her care, what did this portend for those with lesser means?

Experts estimate that only 1 out of 14 domestic elder abuse incidents (excluding the incidents of self-neglect) come to the attention of authorities, while the overall reporting of financial exploitation may be only 1 in 25 cases.

by Lois Goldrich

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