Greenville, SC (Greenville News) - South Carolina is dead last in a national ranking of states in protecting its vulnerable elderly citizens from abuse, a new report shows.
The most common types of elder abuse include physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse, as well as financial exploitation and caregiver neglect, according to Elizabeth Mulvaney, a lecturer at the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh.
The ranking, by personal-finance website WalletHub, measured 14 indicators such as share of elder-abuse, gross neglect and exploitation per resident 65 and older.
South Carolina ranked 50th in those categories, 46th in total expenditures on elder-abuse Prevention, 41st in the number of eldercare organizations and services.
It also ranked 32nd in nursing home quality for an overall ranking of 51st.
Massachusetts ranked first.
An estimated 5 million people a year are affected by elder abuse, but more than 95 percent of all cases go unreported, according to the report.
"Unless states take action to prevent further abuse, the problem will grow as America becomes an increasingly aging nation," the report's authors wrote. "The U.S. Census Bureau expects the population aged 65 and older to nearly double from 43.1 million in 2012 to 83.7 million in 2050."
Read the full report here.