June 15, 2023 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of WEAAD is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect. This year, we are focusing our efforts on helping prevent financial exploitation. Elder financial exploitation continues to be one of the most common forms of elder abuse in this country.
Below are some facts about Elder Abuse.
- 1 in 10 Americans age 60+ have experienced Elder Abuse.
- Elder Abuse is underreported.
- For every 1 case of Elder Abuse reported, 44 cases are not.
- 1 in 14 cases of Elder Abuse come to the attention of authorities.
- Lack of Community Supports increases risk of abuse.
- Isolation is a risk factor of Elder Abuse.
- The costs of Elder Abuse are high for the affected individuals and society alike.
- Elder Abuse reduces older people’s participation in the life of our communities.
- Abuse creates healthcare and legal costs, which are often shouldered by public programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
- Elder Abuse costs survivors billions of dollars each year.
- The annual loss by survivors of Financial Abuse is estimated to be between $2.6 billion and $36.5 billion.
- Elder Abuse is associated with increased rates of hospitalization in the community population.
Here are some things that can be done to lower the risk of Elder Abuse:
- Learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect.
- Learn how we can collectively solve the issue of elder abuse.
- Learn how we can all age well and reduce abuse with community programs and services.
- Spread the word with friends and family members.
- Spread the word about essential community supports like law enforcement, community centers, and public transportation.
- Spread the word about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
- Reach out and prevent isolation.
- Reach out to congregation leaders to give a talk about elder abuse.
- Call or visit older loved ones regularly.
- Provide respite breaks for caregivers.
- Learn more about Adult Protective Services and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.
- Volunteer to be a friendly visitor.
Older people are mistreated more often than we think due to the lack of supports for older people in our communities. It doesn’t have to be this way. Get involved in creating a stronger society that safeguards our communities and prevents abuse.
Contact Valley Senior Services
Looking to learn more about how you or a senior you love can take advantage of services that we offer? We’d love to hear from you! Fill out the form to get in contact with a member of our team.