World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014
Every year, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15. Elder abuse is similar to homelessness in the fact that you know it exists but you might not realize that it’s your neighbor who’s in need. Below is information and resources that you can utilize and share with others, to help identify, prevent, and stop elder abuse.
WHAT IS ELDER ABUSE?
Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that causes (or potentially causes) harm to an older adult.
Why Should I Care About Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is an under recognized problem with devastating and even life threatening consequences.
Every day, headlines throughout the U.S. paint a grim picture of seniors who have been abused, neglected, and exploited, often by people they trust the most. Abusers may be spouses, family members, personal acquaintances, or professionals in positions of trust, or opportunistic strangers who prey on the vulnerable.
How big is the problem? Research indicates that more than one in ten elders may experience some type of abuse, but only one in 23 cases are reported. This means that very few seniors who have been abused get the help they need.
One thing is for certain: elder abuse can happen to any older individual – your neighbor, your loved one – it can even happen to you.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions. It affects seniors across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SUSPECT ELDER ABUSE?
- Report Your Concerns.
- Remember: Most cases of elder abuse go undetected. Don’t assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation.
- In cases of immediate danger, call 911. Otherwise, you can call Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 to be connected to your local reporting agency.
For more information on agencies that can help, visit www.ncea.aoa.gov and click on Get Help.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS I CAN PREVENT ELDER ABUSE?
Plan! – Talk with family members, friends, and professionals that you trust and plan for your future.
Be Cautious! – Unscrupulous people target seniors and will abuse or take advantage of them.
Stay Connected! – Keep in touch regularly with others, isolation can make you vulnerable to abuse.
Report! – Making a report in instances of abuse or neglect is the right thing to do, and it’s easy. Don’t be afraid! Elders have a right to be safe!
Let’s stop elder abuse together!