Florida has the United State’s highest percentage of the elderly population, with 17.6% of the state’s residents older than 65. However, when it comes to caring for those residents, the state might not be doing so well. WFTV reports on Florida’s ranking on elder abuse and protections.
WalletHub shows that Florida ranks below average in elder abuse and neglect protections. It also shows that the state ranks dead last when it comes to funding for services related to eldercare and to long-term care ombudsmen.
The recent deaths during the power outages caused by Hurricane Irma highlight these shortcomings.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has turned up fewer and fewer complaints each year under Governor Rick Scott’s term.
The main concern is that as a state with a large population of elderly residents, the problem will only continue to escalate as more resident reach the age of 65 or older.
Another statistic WalletHub reports is that 96% of elder abuse instances go unreported or unresolved.
Of 34,792 cases throughout 2017, only 12% were verified.
Many of these cases were dismissed because evidence does not meet certain standards. This is where a support system comes in and becomes invaluable in preventing and reporting signs of elder abuse.
Some victims are not necessarily able to speak for themselves. A trustworthy witness or reliable home or nursing facility can be key in obtaining justice.