By Thursday afternoon, millions of people had read or heard reports of an elderly bus monitor in suburban Rochester who was ruthlessly bullied by a group of middle-school boys.
The incident prompted an outpouring of support for the 68-year-old woman and a swift response from authorities. It was a case of highly reported elder abuse.
But most elder abuse cases don’t receive so much attention. In fact, thousands of cases of elder abuse in upstate New York don’t get any.
According to a study by Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc., approximately 260,000 seniors statewide are abused annually, and only 1 in 24 cases gets reported to authorities. Abuse includes financial exploitation and physical and emotional abuse or neglect.
According to estimates, there were approximately 3,500 cases of elder abuse in Chemung (1,530), Schuyler (267) and Steuben (1,710) counties in 2010. The counties had a total senior population of approximately 45,000 in 2010.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the state’s elder abuse situation is unacceptable, and he’s pushing for comprehensive legislation to address the issue.
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Schumer pushes for legislation to fight elder abuse