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.
North Shore Elder Services protective service caseworkers investigate allegations of abuse or neglect of individuals aged 60 or over. If you think that a loved one or another elder you know is being subjected to any kind of abuse, please call the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275.
Anyone can report elder abuse. If you are concerned about an older adult (age 60 or older), and have reason to believe he/she is a victim of elder abuse, neglect, self-neglect or financial exploitation call the Massachusetts-based Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275. Every community in Massachusetts is covered by a designated Protective Service Agency. All reports will be referred to and handled by the designated Protective Service Agency. The agency will determine if an investigation is warranted and if so investigate the situation and determine the best course of action to alleviate the risk. All calls are confidential.