15 June 2013

15 June 2013, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

 Speak Up To Stop Abuse Of Elderly

I can sadly say, elder abuse and neglect is a silent epidemic in our communities. According to research funded by the National Institute of Justice, almost 11 percent of people ages 60 and older, or 5.7 million individuals, suffered from some form of abuse in 2009. In our world, elders are being deprived of food, medical care, a safe environment, or being physically, emotionally or financially abused. 

According to the National Council on Aging, elder financial abuse costs older Americans $2.9 billion per year. Even more shocking is that elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated.

It is heartbreaking to hear Mary threatened with “I’m going to whip your ass!” or know Bill develop painful pressure sores because of being neglected or that Gladys went to bed hungry, in the dark, and without medicine because her family stole her money.

My wish on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is for all of us to open our eyes to elder abuse. If you suspect an elder is being abused or neglected, take a stand! If the elder is in the community, call your Adult Protective Services or your local law enforcement agency.

Make the commitment to stand up against the abuse of our vulnerable elders. 

For more information go to the National Center on Elder Abuse website at www.ncea.aoa.gov

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