Relatives accused of role in abuse of the elderly

Abuse of the elderly is a "national tragedy" not isolated to nursing homes, and includes violent acts by children and other relatives, a government investigative report asserts. Rep. John Burton (D) of California, who issued the report at a hearing, said he was shocked by the conclusion that some 1 million senior citizens may be victims of physical or psychological abuse each year.

The report, "Elder Abuse: An Examination of a Hidden Problem," was released by a subcommittee of the House Select Committee on Aging. It said abuse of the elderly was less likely to be reported than abuse of a child, for fear of reprisal or because the elderly did not want to get their young loved ones into trouble.

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