Mickey Rooney: I Was A Victim Of Elder Abuse
The 90-year-old Rooney shared his own story: for years he was emotionally and financially abused by his stepson and stepdaughter. Only recently was he able to escape the abuse and file a restraining order against them. Over many years, he said, they verbally abused him and stole his money – and he was too ashamed to seek help. What the country needs, he explained, is to make elder abuse a specific crime.
Other witnesses shared their own stories and information about the prevalence of elder abuse in the United States. One expert on the subject said that the abuse was extremely underreported, with only one of 24 seniors actually coming forward with their stories of abuse. Another expert shared the story of one woman who died of bedsores and neglect while her son collected her pension checks. In many cases, she told the committee, elderly abuse victims are not treated with anywhere near as much compassion or attention as abused children, women, or even pets.
Currently, the Government Accountability Office believes that 14 percent of seniors outside of institutions are suffering from some form abuse. Many other believe that the number is even higher.