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Georgia ranks 40th in elder abuse indicator study

As America becomes an increasingly aging nation, the potential for elder abuse grows. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, 1 in 5 U.S. residents will be retirement age. A recent study by the personal finance website WalletHub focused on elder abuse and which states are doing the best, and worst, when it comes to combatting it.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez says the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation.

“The elderly population is especially vulnerable during the pandemic," Gonzalez said. "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 that secondly, they don't get taken advantage of financially which has continued to happen.”

Analysts considered more than a dozen factors in compiling the list.

“We looked at 16 different indicators of elder abuse protection in three categories," Gonzalez said. "So that's just the sheer prevalence of exploitation and elder abuse, also the resources in place, and then 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," Gonzalez said. "It ranks 40th out of all 50 states and DC, 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.

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