A recent editorial in the New Haven Register brought to light a topic that has been under the radar: Elder Abuse. According to the article, the National Council on Aging found that up to 5 million older Americans are abused every year. Unfortunately, cases of elder abuse appear to be on the rise.

Berkowitz and Hanna LLC knows that elder abuse can take many forms. There’s emotional abuse, neglect, improper medication, dehydration and malnutrition and even assault. The elderly, like young children, are especially vulnerable if they are unable to communicate and report such abuse.

The editorial also notes that the National Council on Aging’s report “becomes even more troubling when it notes a huge percentage of the abuse goes unreported and the perpetrators are normally family members or caregivers. It is estimated that for every abuse case reported, 24 go unreported.”

Interestingly, according to the New Haven Register, Connecticut’s “population is the seventh oldest in the nation, with 14 percent of state residents over 65, and 27 percent turning 65 during the next 15 years.” The more elderly residents, the more likely there will be an increase in abuse and neglect. Legislation could be a solution. In 2010 the U.S. government passed the Elder Justice Act. More locally, state legislation includes “an expanded the list of mandated reporters of elder abuse, requiring Connecticut’s Department of Social Services to issue an annual report to the General Assembly on the number and type of elder abuse complaints to Protective Services for the Elderly Program, and also requiring the state Department of Consumer Protection to implement a public education campaign.”

More can certainly be done to help protect the elderly in Connecticut. Berkowitz and Hanna LLC does its part to help those who have been abused or neglected receive the justice they (and their families) deserve. As developments in Connecticut legislation arise, Berkowitz and Hanna LLC will continue to report on that issue here.

Image by .v1ctor Casale via Flickr.com