A recent report from Chile reveals that over the past year, reports of elder abuse have increased by 38%. This statistic was given by a non-governmental organization named Activa, who urge the National Service for the Elderly (SENAMA) to study the issue further. According to the director of SENAMA, Rose Kornfeld, the increase in reported cases may not actually reflect an increase in cases, but rather  an improvement in access to reporting services. Over the past 10 years, SENAMA has established regional service centres to provide adult day and legal services to the elderly throughout Chile. Prior to the establishment of SENAMA centres, the elderly would have to arrive at a police station in order to report abuse. SENAMA reports that they have recently hired an elder abuse specialist and that they plan to expand their activities in prevention and intervention as budget is available. The last Chilean census was taken in 2002 at which time 11.4% of Chileans were >60. The government expects that by 2025 the 60+ population will encompass over 20% of the population.

Photo courtesy of  Fernando Mandujano.