Changing Demographics & Rising Elder Abuse Lead to Senior Shelter Increases

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For the past several years, there has been significant discussion about the consequences of changing American demographics. More specifically, the American population is aging at a very steady rate. As the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age, the percentage of the population over 65 steadily rises. In fact, according to some estimates, the fastest growing segment of the population are those over 65 years old. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in the next fifteen years, the percentage of the population that is over retirement age will double from where it now stands. It is hard to underestimate the long-term consequences of this demographic shift.

For example, the aging of the population has significant effects on senior care. More and more community members need close care, and there are concerns about the availability of caregivers. There are only a limited number of nursing home and assisted-living facilities. Even still, many seniors would rather not move into those spaces where possible, and so there has been a surge in seniors who move in with family members or close friends.

Sadly, as outlined in a recent CBS 8 story, the growing need for senior care has been followed by a rise in complaints about elder abuse–perpetrated both at skilled nursing facilities and in at-home care settings. One way the increase has been noted is by the rise in elder abuse shelters.

Many seniors have nowhere to turn when they are victimized by poor care. After all, in most cases the very reason that they live with a family member or in a nursing home is because they are unable to care for themselves and have no other options. That is why more and more communities are establishing emergency senior shelters — specific places where seniors can escape abusive situations while receiving specialized help. Most of these spaces provide care for 30 to 90 days while more long-term arrangements are made. They are crucial transition spots, which often mean the difference between a senior finding a safe alternative living situation or wallowing in a dire situation indefinitely.

Raising Awareness of San Diego Elder Abuse

Our area is certainly no exception to the demographic trends and subsequent social consequences. Many senior community membres face neglect and mistreatment on a daily basis. According to some reports, as many as one in ten seniors may fall victim to various caregiving problems, from financial exploitation and neglect to outright physical or even sexual abuse. At times the mistreatment is perpetrated by strangers. However, more often than not the wrongdoers are individuals who the senior knows and relies on — like nursing home employees or at-home caregivers.

This mistreatment must not be tolerated. One of the main ways to tackle the problem is to ensure abuse is not kept secret but brought to light. If you know of a senior who has been harmed because of poor elder care, please contact the San Diego elder abuse attorneys at our firm to share your story and see how we can help.

Please See Our Related Blog Posts:
Elder Abuse Investigations: Coming Soon to a Care Center Near You
Protection from an Abusive Caregiver