In last week’s Estate Planning column, Attorney Lola Waterman covered Elder Abuse and its forms, ranging from physical, sexual and emotional to financial exploitation.
It is a tragic issue of our time, she noted, and one that may not go away anytime soon.
“ One out of ten adults over the age of 65 have experienced some form of elder abuse, according to the U.S. Department of Justice,” Attorney Waterman wrote, adding an alarming statistic from the the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. “Only 1 out of 24 elder abuse cases are actually reported to authorities.
“Are these staggering numbers a reflection of our society’s views on honoring and revering our elders?”
That’s millions of elders experiencing bodily,injury, pain, threats, humiliation, intimidation, forced isolation, abandonment, and deprivation of such basic needs a food, water, heat. And that’s the tip of the iceberg in examples of elder abuse.
As an addendum to last week’s column, Attorney Waterman offers the following short list of major state and and city agencies for seniors, victims, witnesses or concerned family members to contact if elder abuse exists. They include:
Center for Elder Law and Justice: https://elderjusticeny.org/
City Bar Justice Center: https://www.citybarjusticecenter.org/projects/elderlaw-project/
New York State Unified Court System: https://ww2.nycourts.gov/Admin/OPP/elder-justice/resources.shtml
Attorney Waterman also noted that WE are the ultimate protectors of our elders: “Our government, both federally and locally, have been proactive in attempting to curb elder abuse but we, the people, must also do our part in protecting one of our most vulnerable citizenry.
If there’s suspicion of abuse or neglect of anyone, Attorney Waterman also urges complainants and victims to also contact the New York State Adult Protective Services at (212) 630-1853, or visit their website at www.ocfs.state.