Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
David R. Montague & Patricia Wilkerson
Elder abuse is a serious public problem. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 20% of people over 50 years of age in the United States have experienced crime since reaching age 50. Elder abuse occurs not only among those living either alone or with families but also in nursing home and assisted living settings. Abuse of the elderly is grounded in the same realities as abuse of any other age group—power and control. For older people, power and control become serious issues when those preying upon the elderly see them as easy targets. Frequently, public safety issues impacting the elderly go unnoticed by the general population until there is a significant incident drawing public attention. There is a lack of significant scholarship on the subject of elder abuse, although fortunately more attention is being placed on this issue—perhaps because seniors are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups ...