Are You Aware of Elder Abuse?

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th as designated by the United Nations General Assembly.  The day shines a light globally on the problem of neglect, physical, emotional and financial abuse of elders.

The intent of the day is to educate people on the challenges and opportunities presented by an aging population. It brings together elders, their caregivers, academics, national and local government and the private sector to work together on the best ways to prevent elder abuse, increase reporting and develop policy that benefits elders.

This day represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generation.

Elder abuse occurs in many parts of the world with little recognition. Often times the problem is hidden from public view and considered a private matter. This has contributed to the under-reporting and underestimating of abuse.

With the global population of people aged 60 years and older increasing, we know that the incidence of abuse towards older people will increase.

What can YOU do to prevent elder abuse and neglect?

  1. Listen to seniors and their caregivers
  2. Intervene when you suspect elder abuse
  3. Educate others about how to recognize and report elder abuse

As an elder, how can you protect yourself against elder abuse?

  • Make sure your financial and legal affairs are in order. If they are not, enlist professional help to get them in order, with the assistance of a trusted friend or relative if necessary.
  • Keep in touch with family and friends and avoid becoming isolated.
  • If you are unhappy with the care you are receiving, whether it is in your own home or in a care facility, speak up. Tell someone you trust and ask that person to report the abuse, neglect, or substandard care to an elder abuse helpline or long-term care ombudsman, or make the call yourself.

If you think that a loved one or another elder you know is being subjected to any kind of abuse, please call Protective Services at North Shore Elder Services. One of our case workers will investigate your situation and, with your consent, step in to do what we do best – protect our elders.

You can also go directly to the Massachusetts mandated report form.

Call NSES at 978-750-4540 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday. Call the Elder Abuse after-hours Hotline at 1-800-922-2275 outside of NSES business hours.

Wear purple on Thursday, June 15th, in recognition and support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Author Info

Jayne Girodat

Jayne Girodat is the Communications Specialist at North Shore Elder Services. Along with ten years in the position of Caregiver Support Specialist at another ASAP, Jayne was a long-distance caregiver to parents for the same amount of time. That experience serves as motivation to better understand the issues of aging and to engage people in conversations about those issues. Jayne's background in teaching contributes to her appreciation of social media as a tool to educate readers on aging concerns. "I love asking people questions. Everyone likes to be heard. When you ask and then listen, you'll find everyone has a story and some of those stories are gems. I think it is particularly important to hear the voices of our older adults. Those are the stories I really connect to and hope to bring to North Shore Elder Services' audience."

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