Congress has established and funded national networks to protect children — and even animals — from abuse, but no similar system exists to protect vulnerable adults. It’s time for Congress to prioritize the health and safety of all Americans, regardless of age.
Nearly 5 million seniors are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation each year. Direct medical costs associated with elder abuse exceed $5 billion annually, and older victims of financial abuse, such as Pearl Buckley, the woman in the story, lose an estimated $2.9 billion each year.
Vulnerable adults deserve the same protections our society affords their pets and grandchildren. We must call upon Congress to make this a reality by fully funding the bipartisan Elder Justice Act, which it passed in 2010 but has yet to fund.
The system failed Ms. Buckley. Don’t let it fail anyone else.
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