Elder Abuse In California

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Community Health Assessment HS 159, Spring 2009 SJSU March 23, 2009 Gurpreet Bola RUNNING HEAD: ELDER ABUSE IN CALIFORNIA Introduction/ Epidemiological Analysis Every year tens and thousands of the elderly Americans face abuse. Abuse takes place in various different forms such as physical, emotional, financial, sexual, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. Elder abuse may be a broad term; however it captures many different problems within itself. Elderly abuse can be defined as a “careless act that causes harm or serious risk of harm to an older person” (National Centers for Elder Abuse). Approximately 1.6 million people are in nursing homes in the United States, and another 1 million people reside in residential care facilities. In the year 2000, there were 472,813 cases of elder abuse or neglect in the 54 states in the U.S. This number is just a rough estimate of the abuse cases, as many cases of abuse or neglect go unreported. In fact, according to a study conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse at American Public Human Services Association, every time one case of abuse is reported, five cases of abuse go unreported. Older adults are among one of the fastest growing populations of the United States; in 1990 one in eight persons was older than the age of 65; by 2030, this ratio will decline to one in five (Wan, Sengupta, Velkoff, & Debarros, 2005). The US Census Bureau estimates that by 2030 the persons aged 65 or older will make up about 20% of the U.S population. The state of California will be experiencing a disproportionate growth in the number of elderly. California is one of the states with the largest number of elderly which was 3 million in 1993 projected by US census bureau and has reached 3.7 million. The United States Census Bureau predicts that in the next twenty years the number of elderly in California will increase from 3.7

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