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ARE FAMILIES RESPONSIBLE FOR 90% OF ALL ELDER ABUSE?

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Marcia Southwick ©  9/19/18
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“The false impression out there blaming families and relatives for 90% of elder abuse means that guardians can protect their own paychecks by maligning families in court, which they often do.   It also means that the public is distracted away from looking at the larger entities abusing the elderly right under our noses.”
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Most people believe that elder abuse is all about Granny surrounded by family predators who just want to grab her money and throw her to the wolves. You’ll hear plenty of rumblings claiming that families and people closest to elders are responsible for 90 % of all elder abuse.
The National Care Planning Council is one of many who quote this figure.  The article is titled “ Perpetrators of Elder Abuse are Usually Family Members:” .  Even AARP claims that “ You’d like to think that elder financial abuse is committed mostly by strangers. You’d be wrong. In reality, it’s more likely to come at the hands of family members and caregivers”

Why does everyone blame families?

The latest 2011 study done by MetLife shows that in terms of dollars stolen from elders, families are not the most likely to steal the most dollars:  After examining three months of national news feeds, plus other data, researchers determined that businesses stole $205,243,400; Family members and friends stole $11,515,737, Strangers stole $7,612,513, and Medicaid/Medicare fraud caused the most damage–$306,105,093.)
NAPSA (National Adult Protective Services Association) is another organization that blames families for most of the elder abuse that takes place today.  Their figure again is 90%. .   Adult Protective Services investigates domestic settings.  Since most of us don’t have lawyers or financial advisors living with us at home, my guess is that these culprits have been left out of the equation.

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