With Monday June 15th designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, what better time to enhance your knowledge of this continual issue that plagues our most vulnerable citizens.
Elder abuse can occur in many forms - physical, sexual, neglect, financial, emotional or psychological. It’s important to know the signs of this ongoing concern.
Pay close attention to:
· Physical appearance – sudden changes or declines
· Amenities – power, heat and plumbing, caretaker assistance
· Bills – method of payment i.e. who is controlling the elder’s funds
· Gifts – sudden or excessive disbursement of possessions or assets
· Social Habits – unexplained withdrawal from normal activities and routines
Elders are often hesitant to seek out help or admit to abusive circumstances. In fact, most elder abuse cases go unreported. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, only one in four cases of mistreatment are reported to the proper authorities.
Help to protect the elders in your life from abuse through a few key steps. Always handles matters within trusted family members and friends when possible. When it is deemed necessary to place your loved one in the hands of a third party caregiver, request background and reference checks. Lastly, when in doubt always investigate your concerns. There are numbers available for appropriate contacts in cases of concern.
Through knowledge, collaboration, and willingness to take action, we can help to enhance the safety and well-being of our senior citizens.