NJ ranked among worst for elder care abuse protections
More than 95 percent of elder abuse cases go unreported every year, which advocates find alarming considering the share of American adults aged 65 and older is expected to be 1 in 5 by the year 2030.
Personal finance website Wallethub released a report on 2018's "Best and Worst States for Elder Abuse Protections." New Jersey has one of the worst elder abuse protections in the country, ranking third on the list.
Analyst Jill Gonzalez said one of the things New Jersey is doing wrong is that it spends some of the least amount of money on elder abuse prevention, on legal assistance development and on long-term ombudsman program funding.
Even when it comes to policy in place, there's not much in terms of financial elderly abuse laws, the presence of elder abuse forensic centers and elder abuse working groups. Also, the quality of nursing homes is pretty low, said Gonzalez.
As far as the frequency of assisted living facility inspections, that's where New Jersey is in the middle of the pack.
"But you would think that with all those inspections, the overall quality of nursing homes would be a little bit better," said Gonzalez.
In order to do better and move up the ranks on this list, Gonzalez said she believes it starts with funding, which is not an overnight fix. But in the meantime, she thinks looking into policy and laws that can be put into place that would curb some of this elder abuse would help.
Massachusetts is the state with the best elder abuse protections followed by Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan and Arizona. South Carolina has the worst, which Gonzalez said was surprising because it's a retiree haven.
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