“This problem is only going to increase as Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) become senior citizens,” Prosecutor Dalton said in a meeting at Auletto Caterers in Deptford NJ. “There’s ten thousand people a day who reach the age of 65 in the United States, and that trend will continue for the next 15 years.
“As a result, we need to focus more on this problem. It’s very similar to the issue of domestic violence or child abuse maybe 30 years ago, when it was looked upon as more of a family problem. Now it’s recognized for the crime that it is. I think elder abuse is going to be viewed similarly in the days to come.”
Generally, elder abuse is a challenging crime to prosecute because of the nature of the victim, Dalton said. “You’re typically dealing with an individual who has diminished capacity, which makes them especially vulnerable to be victimized.”
The risks to seniors come not only from con men who are strangers, but also from trusted people in their own homes, said Prosecutor Dalton.
“We certainly aren’t surprised by the number of scam artists, but the number of caregivers and relatives who engage in this despicable behavior is really terrible.”