Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Each year, hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. In addition, elders throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Unfortunately, no one is immune to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It occurs in every demographic, and can happen to anyone—a family member, a neighbor, even you. Yet it is estimated that only about one in five of those crimes are ever discovered.
Types of Elder Abuse Include:

  • Financial Abuse or Exploitation
  • Psychological or Emotional Abuse
  • Physical or Sexual Abuse

Things that make an Older Adult Vulnerable to Abuse Include:

  • Social Isolation
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • History of Domestic Violence
  • Sometimes – living with another person

People who Might Abuse Older Adults Include:

  • Men and Women
  • Caregivers in Facilities or in Homes
  • Family Members

Sadly, family members are more often the abusers than any other group, and sometimes they are unaware that their actions are abusive.  Education and information must be provided in order for the abuse to stop.
How Many People are Suffering from Abuse:

  • 1 in 10 older adults
  • 1 in 2 people with dementia

For every case that goes reported, 23 go unreported.  This is caused by overall lack of awareness and reluctance to admit by victims due to fear or illness.  We must all be aware of this problem and advocate for elderly that we suspect might be victims of abuse.