The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Elder abuse and the church

What can we do?

Consider these conditions: an aging population; a faltering economy; adult children struggling with joblessness, home foreclosures and the stresses of caring for parents, as well as their children; social service program cutbacks because of a lack of funds; and older, frail adults who are isolated and vulnerable. All of these combine to create the perfect climate for elder abuse — an underrecognized and rarely reported problem.

designpicsThe National Center on Elder Abuse reports that Adult Protective Services organizations investigated 461,135 reports of elder and vulnerable adult abuse in 49 states in 2006 — a 16.3 percent increase from 2000. Nationwide, groups like Lutheran Social Services are on the front lines in battling such abuse.

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