Did you know that elder abuse impacts millions of Americans every year, and millions more across the globe? It is a reprehensible problem, and one that is not likely to go away anytime soon. Especially as our senior populations continue to grow both in Massachusetts and across the United States, and as life-expectancy rates increase, incidents of elder abuse can only be expected to rise.
One of the best ways to fight the growing epidemic, is to educate the public about the reality of elder abuse together with the risk factors and causes, and ways to prevent it. This is exactly what business like ours, governments, human rights organizations and many professionals are doing in association with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th.
In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, let us share a list of tips with you to help prevent elder abuse from harming a loved one in your life right here in our blog:
Educate senior members about elder abuse and make sure they know to report it immediately.
If an aging loved one suffers from dementia or is unable to speak up for themselves, then actively pay close attention to signs of abuse and neglect.
- Keep senior family members engaged in community activities and social groups. This can decrease isolation, and reduce their vulnerability to abuse.
- Make sure an elder family member has a phone, or a way to communicate promptly.
- Older Americans should not give out personal information on the internet or over the phone.
- Obtaining a durable power of attorney allows for a trusted person, like an adult child, to make important decisions on the elder person’s behalf even when they are ill.
- Know your rights. If an aging loved one lives in a nursing home, he or she has every right to contact a Long Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman is the advocate and has the power to intervene.
If you suspect an elder loved one is the victim of abuse, which includes physical, emotional, and sexual harm, in addition to neglect and financial exploitation, do not wait to report it. You can click this link to learn how to report abuse in Massachusetts. We can only stop the epidemic of elder abuse by making an effort together to stop it. Do not wait to contact us with your questions on this or any elder care issues.