Connecting state and local government leaders
More accessible data on mistreatment of older Americans is needed to develop an informed response.
It’s no secret that America’s population is greying.
By the year 2050, nearly 25 percent of the total population may be over the age of 65. And the number of people in the oldest demographic group, those aged 85 and over, is projected to triple from 5.9 million in 2012 to 18 million in 2050.
As this vulnerable population grows in numbers, issues related to their care become more and more pressing.
Wednesday marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the purpose of which, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse is to provide an opportunity to promote a better understanding of the issue by “raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.”
One way to raise the level of awareness of this problem is to make the data on incidents of elder abuse more accessible and understandable. ForMyParent, a web tool affiliated with the Michigan-based Stern Law, PLCC, presents a particularly interactive way of exploring and comparing the state-by-state data on this problem.
ForMyParent makes it easy to take both a high-level and a granular look at elder abuse. Several map options allow users to get a bird’s eye view of nursing home complaints per state and which state has the best nursing home rankings.
To go deeper, a user can simply select specific a state and zoom in on the statistics for an exhaustive list of nursing homes located in that particular area.
In a similar fashion, the NCEA provides a map containing pertinent state-specific helpline information, contact information for the responsible government agencies, as well as the text of relevant laws and regulations.
Overall, elder abuse is a serious problem that receives relatively little attention nationwide. The availability of data and information-based tools like these contributes to a greater understanding of the issue, a necessary first step to take in making this type of abuse less common.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct information regarding Stern Law, PLCC, which is based in Michigan and not affiliated with the separate Stern Law Group, based in Texas.
Quinn Libson writes for Government Executive’s Route Fifty.
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