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Report: Georgia Needs More Protections Against Elder Abuse

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As America becomes an increasingly aging nation, the potential for elder abuse grows. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population aged 65 and older will nearly double from 43 million in 2012 to more than 85.7 million in 2050. By 2030, 1 in 5 U.S. residents will be retirement age. A recent study by the personal finance website WalletHub focused Elder Abuse and which states are doing the best, and worst, at combatting it. Analyst Jill Gonzalez says the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation.

“The elderly population is especially vulnerable during the pandemic,” according to Gonzalez. “It’s important to make sure that they have not only adequate living conditions, which at the beginning of the pandemic was really hard to do, and then secondly that they don’t get taken advantage of financially, which has continued to happen.”

The study considered more than a dozen factors in compiling the list.

“We looked at 16 different indicators of elder abuse protection in three categories. So, that’s just the sheer prevalence of exploitation, and elder abuse, also the resources in place and the protection to help combat this.”

Analysts say elder abuse affects as much as 10% of the population over 60 and Georgia has room for improvement.

“Georgia is not doing the best here. It ranks 40th out of all 50 states and D.C., so narrowly missing the bottom ten.”

Wisconsin topped the list while Utah came in at number 51, with the fewest Elder-Abuse protections in place.