Report: New Jersey has nation’s worst elder abuse protections

Elder abuse. The personal-finance website WalletHub rated 50 states and the District of Columbia on 16 key metrics ranging from “elder-abuse, gross-neglect and exploitation complaints” to “financial elder-abuse laws.”

04 Dec 2020 | 01:59

With as many as 13 out of every 14 elder abuse cases going unreported, and seniors especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub on Dec. 2 released its report on 2020’s States with the Best Elder-Abuse Protections. New Jersey came out at the rock bottom, at 51.

To determine which states fight the hardest against elder abuse, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 16 key metrics. The data set ranges from “elder-abuse, gross-neglect and exploitation complaints” to “financial elder-abuse laws.”

Here is how New Jersey ranked on five of those metrics:

48th – Elder-abuse, gross-neglect and exploitation complaints

21st – Total expenditures on elder-abuse prevention

38th – Total long-term care ombudsman-program funding

32nd – Number of eldercare organizations and services

38th – Financial elderly-abuse laws

Abuse happens every day and takes many forms. But vulnerable older Americans are among the easiest targets for this misconduct, especially those who are women, have disabilities and rely on others for care. By one estimate, elder abuse affects as much as ten percent of the population older than 60, and many cases go unreported – as many as 13 of every 14 instances. Our elderly population is increasingly vulnerable this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s especially important to make sure they have adequate living conditions and don’t get taken advantage of financially.

The U.S. Census Bureau expects the population aged 65 and older to nearly double from 43.1 million in 2012 to 85.7 million in 2050, much to the credit of aging Baby Boomers who began turning 65 in 2011. And by just 2030, 1 in 5 U.S. residents will be retirement age.

For more about the report, visit wallethub.com/edu/states-with-best-elder-abuse-protection/28754.

State rankings of elder-abuse protections, from best to worst:
1 Massachusetts
2 Wisconsin
3 Vermont
4 Michigan
5 West Virginia
6 Virginia
7 District of Columbia
8 Iowa
9 Louisiana
10 Maine
11 Washington
12 North Carolina
13 Pennsylvania
14 Arizona
15 New York
16 Oklahoma
17 Hawaii
18 Maryland
19 New Hampshire
20 Texas
21 Rhode Island
22 Ohio
23 Alaska
24 Illinois
25 Alabama
26 Minnesota
27 Florida
28 Kentucky
29 Kansas
30 Connecticut
31 Idaho
32 Mississippi
33 North Dakota
34 Missouri
35 South Dakota
36 Indiana
37 Colorado
38 Arkansas
39 Wyoming
40 Delaware
41 Georgia
42 Oregon
43 Nebraska
44 Tennessee
45 New Mexico
46 Nevada
47 Montana
48 Utah
49 California
50 South Carolina
51 New Jersey
2020’s States with the Best Elder-Abuse Protections
Adam McCann, Financial WriterDec 2, 2020