NATIONAL ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY IS JUNE 15

Elder abuse is widespread. Every year an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture; experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, in part because so many of our communities lack the social supports that would make it easier for those who experience abuse to report it. Research suggests that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities. In addition to being a clear violation of the American commitment to justice for all, elder abuse is an issue with many consequences for our society. Its effects on our communities range from public health to economic issues. The good news is that we can prevent and address the issue of elder abuse. Throughout the month of June, we will be spotlighting the issue of elder abuse and prevention of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Together, we can make a difference in our community!

HOW CAN WE PREVENT AND ADDRESS ELDER ABUSE?

We can lessen the risk of elder abuse by putting supports and foundations in place that make abuse difficult. If we think of society as a building that supports our well-being, then it makes sense to design the sturdiest building we can — one with the beams and load-bearing walls necessary to keep everyone safe and healthy as we age. For example, constructing community supports and human services for caregivers and older adults can alleviate risk factors tied to elder abuse. Increased funding can support efforts to train practitioners in aging-related care. Identifying ways to empower older adults will reduce the harmful effects of ageism. And leveraging expert knowledge can provide the tools needed to identify, address, and ultimately prevent abuse. (National Council on Elder Abuse)

HOW CAN WE

REPORT SUSPECTED ABUSE?

No matter how old we are, justice requires that we be treated as full members of our communities. If we notice signs of abuse, it is our duty to report it to the proper authorities. Programs such as Adult Protective Services (APS) and the Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are here to help. You can reach Adult Protective Services (APS) at 800-992-6978. If you have concerns relating to a loved one residing in a long-term care facility, call your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Ann Cardinal at 812-888-5880. If you or someone you know is in a life threatening situation or immediate danger, call 911 or the local police or sheriff. (National Council on Elder Abuse)

GENERATIONS

MAGAZINE

Our magazine is geared toward adults in pre-retirement and retirement years and promotes active aging and preventive health. It is published three times a year and is free to subscribers. All we need is your name and address. If you would like to receive future copies of the magazine, contact Brenda Hancock at 812-888-5146 or bhancock@vinu.edu.

Generations, Area 13 Agency on Aging & Disability, is a program of Vincennes University’s Community Services Division. Our agency connects individuals and caregivers to community resources and options for long-term care and in-home services. For more information, call 800-742-9002 or 812-888-5880 or visit our website at www.generationsnetwork.org.

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