The Sacramento Bee newspaper published a short article on December 31, 2010 written by Anita Creamer on a Cornell University study that proves that only a fraction of elder abuse cases are ever reported.

The article stated:

New research from Cornell University’s medical college suggests that the incidence of elder abuse and exploitation is far greater than experts had expected.

The study, which is not available online, compared the number of cases reported to law enforcement, agencies that serve the aging and other authorities with those mentioned in 4,000 random phone surveys of people 60 and older.

For every elder abuse case reported to a mandated enforcement agency, the survey found, 23.5 unreported cases occurred. What’s more, for each case of financial abuse of elders reported to authorities, 43.9 actually occurred – and 57.2 cases of neglect occurred.

It appears that society needs to recognize the tragic problem of elder abuse and institute policies that will enable law enforcement to protect elderly people.

Further to that, society needs to admit that certain policies will only increase the problem of elder abuse. Policies such as legalizing or “turning a blind eye” to cases of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

At least the Canadian government has made the prevention of elder abuse a government priority.