In early March of this year 90 year old former actor Mikey Rooney testified before a special senate committee about elder abuse from a family member believed to be 52 year old step son Chris Abert that he says he had experienced. He felt trapped, scared, used, and frustrated.
The senate committee is considering legislation to curb abuses of senior citizens.
"Above all," Rooney said of being a victim of elder abuse, "when a man feels helpless, it's terrible."
Every year, an about 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, sexual, financial, or other forms of abuse and neglect, according to the American Psychological Association. And for every case reported to authorities, experts estimate there may be as many as five cases that were not reported.
Elder abuse cuts across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. And it can occur anywhere - in nursing homes and other institutions as well as private homes. Older people who are demented are especially vulnerable, as are those who have a substance abuse problem - or are cared for by someone who does.
Rooney accused Aber in LA Superior Court filings of withholding food and medicine and meddling in his personal finances. On February 15 he was awarded a restraining order by the judge in which Aber could not come within 100 yards of Rooney. He was concerned that Aber may even try to kidnap him unless he signed over all his property so he also had the court appoint a conservator also referred to as a guardian in some states. His attorney was appointed for this purpose.
Fortunately on April 6 they were able to settle the matter and Rooney agreed to drop the restarining order with Aber agreeing to voluntarily leave him alone.