Last week, Hollywood Legend Mickey Rooney received a protective order against his stepson and daughter-in-law after experiencing abuse. According to court documents, the 90 year old actor “was a prisoner in his own home” allegedly subjected to verbal abuse, financial exploitation and deprivation of food and medication.
“All I want to do is live a peaceful life, to regain my life and be happy,” Rooney wrote in a statement to his fans. “I pray to God each day to protect us, help us endure, and guide those other senior citizens who are also suffering.”
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Increasingly older Americans are targets of abuse. Persons 85 and older are the fastest growing population group in the United States. Although each year the number of reported incidents of abuse in later life grows, approximately 84% of elder abuse incidents are not reported. According to a 2009 report, in 76% of incidents against older Americans, the abuse was committed by a family member.
On March 2 2011 Mickey Rooney will provide testimony on his harrowing experience before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The Committee will hold a hearing sponsored by Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) to address the U.S. response and prevention of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
The hearing is a critical first step to highlight this growing epidemic against an already vulnerable population. To scale up efforts to prevent, prosecute, understand, and mitigate the impact of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of elders increased federal leadership is needed. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 2 at 2 pm AM at the Dirksen Senate Office Building (Room 106).
The hearing is open to the public.