USC Campus Trojan Statue. Photo by John Schreiber.
USC Campus Trojan Statue. Photo by John Schreiber.

USC’s Keck School of Medicine will become a National Center on Elder Abuse, having won a U.S. government grant to set up an agency to address the problem, it was announced Monday.

“One in 10 Americans over age 60 suffer some form of elder abuse — that is 5 million seniors each year,” said Dr. Laura Mosqueda, chair of Keck’s Family Medicine and Geriatrics director for the National Center on Elder Abuse.

“We see elder abuse, neglect and exploitation as one of the most pressing civil rights issues facing our aging society, and we’re proud to be named the National Center on Elder Abuse to help educate, inform and address the injustices inflicted on our nation’s seniors.”

The three-year $2.2 million grant comes from the Administration on Aging, part of the Administration on Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The goal is to give assistance and training to states and community- based organizations to develop prevention, intervention and response efforts. The National Center on Elder Abuse also will do research and lobby for policy changes on behalf of older adults.

About 10,000 of baby boomers turn 65 every day, and people over the age of 85 make up the fastest growing segment of population. At the same time, the number of people who will care for senior citizens is decreasing, according to the Administration on Aging.

Elder abuse can be physical, financial emotional, sexual, and involve exploitation, neglect or abandonment.

Mosqueda will the lead the effort at USC, in collaboration with the USC School of Gerontology, the American Bar Association and other groups.

City News Service

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