Protecting Seniors

How Common is Elder Abuse?

May 18, 2022

How common is elder abuse? | Protecting Seniors | Aspiriant Wealth Management

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that at least 10% of older adults age 65 and older will experience some form of elder abuse in a given year. Unfortunately, some of these victims simultaneously experience more than one type of abuse: physical, financial, sexual, psychological and neglect.

Not only does elder abuse encompass intentional acts that cause a risk of harm to an older adult. But elder abuse also involves a failure to act that could result in harm to a senior.

Data: The Prevalence of Elder Abuse

The data is shocking and shows a greater need for family members to be more actively involved in protecting their loved ones. The report shows the percent of the total population in the United States experiencing different types of elder abuse:

  • 6% Psychological abuse
  • 6% Sexual abuse
  • 6% Physical abuse
  • 1% Caregiver neglect
  • 2% Financial fraud and exploitation

Serious Consequences of Elder Abuse

When elder abuse is happening, it can have serious effects on the victim and their loved ones. For example, abuse situations can increase the risk of various health issues. The person might experience:

  • Deterioration of health
  • Hospitalization
  • Clinical cases (suicide and depression)
  • Social issues (relationship disruptions)
  • Financial loss
  • Diminished independence
  • Lower quality of life
  • Increased mortality

Family Involvement for the Prevention of Elder Abuse

Knowing the risk of elder abuse is the first step to protecting your loved one. When family members understand that a person could be at risk, they can proactively watch for potential signs of abuse. Family involvement and caregiver interventions are essential details to minimize the risk of elder abuse and help a senior maintain safety and independence.
Everyone needs to be aware of their neighbors and loved ones. Through education and proactive involvement, we can protect those in vulnerable situations.

Paul Hynes
Paul Hynes

Director in Wealth Management, Partner

Paul joined Aspiriant in 2021 via a merger with HearthStone Private Wealth Management, the San Diego firm he co-founded with business partner, Wendy Wildey. Paul serves as a Director in Wealth Management and Aspiriant partner. Paul also directs the fiduciary investment services team at Aspiriant. He brings more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Prior to joining the firm, Paul served 11 years as president and CEO of HearthStone. Before that, he spent 22 years with a large Wall Street brokerage firm. During that time, the firm changed its name 13 times and is currently known as Morgan Stanley.

Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia. He earned the right to use the Certified Financial PlannerTM Professional designation in 2012. Paul founded Senior Safe & Sound, a non-profit educational resource and video library that seeks to educate and empower senior citizens and those they love to prevent elder fraud and abuse. He serves on the Investment Advisory Board of United Way of San Diego, as well as several other non-profit boards and committees.

Paul and his wife of over 40 years, Joanie, are empty nesters after raising two incredible and wonderful humans, Chris and Lauren. Together they enjoy sports of all kinds — currently golf, tennis and pickleball are favorites. They also enjoy travel, wine tasting and reading.

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