Elder abuse cases are rarely reported, and even more rarely prosecuted. “Elder abuse cases, for whatever inappropriate reason, are not considered as severe,” said Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco.
The reasons for the low reporting and prosecuting are varied. There is the embarrassment of being a victim, and in many cases – up to two-thirds – the elderly victim knows the abuser. But there is also the problem of ageism; the failure to take the matter seriously because the victim is elderly.
And it’s not just the public that needs educating about elder abuse and neglect, but law enforcement as well. Riverside County has a special team dedicated to elder abuse cases, and it sees the ageism first hand. “They’re old. They didn’t have to live anyway,” are the types of excuses heard by Tristan Svare, a San Bernardino deputy district attorney.
The problem is not expected to get better anytime soon. The California $26 billion budget shortfall may mean program cuts that would leave seniors more vulnerable. IHSS funding, which helps seniors avoid nursing homes, may be at risk.
Source: The Desert Sun
The Southern California elder abuse and neglect lawyers at Walton Law Firm LLP represent individuals who have suffered abuse or neglect in the hospital, nursing home, or residential care setting. For a free and confidential consultation call (866) 607-1325.