By Adam McCann | WalletHub
buse happens every day and takes many forms. But vulnerable older Americans are among the easiest targets for this misconduct, especially those who are women, have disabilities and rely on others for care. By one estimate, elder abuse affects as many as 5 million people per year, and more than 95 percent of all cases go unreported.
Unless states take action to prevent further abuse, the problem will grow as America becomes an increasingly aging nation. The U.S. Census Bureau expects the population aged 65 and older to nearly double from 43.1 million in 2012 to 83.7 million in 2050, much to the credit of aging Baby Boomers who began turning 65 in 2011. And by just 2030, 1 in 5 U.S. residents will be retirement age.
Fortunately, states recognize that elder abuse is a real and growing issue. But sadly, only some are fighting hard enough to stop it. WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 14 key indicators of elder-abuse protection in 3 overall categories. Our data set ranges from “share of elder-abuse, gross-neglect and exploitation complaints” to “financial elder-abuse laws.” Continue reading below for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.