A quiet epidemic exists in America - abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults and persons with disabilities. Elder abuse and maltreatment of persons with disabilities continues to be under reported and under prosecuted in the nation. Data suggests that each year at least 10% (or 5 million) older adults are subjected to abuse, neglect and exploitation with only 1 in 25 cases reported to social service agencies. Research has demonstrated that these abuses have significant consequences for health, well-being and independence. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that "Elder abuse is the violation of human rights, and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation and despair."
Awareness is rising. Many agencies and organizations are involved in the movement for the prevention of elder abuse and vulnerable adult maltreatment. The Administration for Community Living's (ACL), Administration on Aging (AoA) announced 2013 as the "Year of Elder Abuse Prevention."