Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. Signs of abuse can include unexplained bruises, burns or broken bones, lack of basic hygiene, access to adequate food, clean or appropriate clothing, unexplained weight loss, social isolation, changes in banking habits, or giving away assets without an apparent reason. Call our elder law attorneys Eric Mika and Ashley Securda for more information.
Want to do more? There is no question that every act you do, every discussion you have, and every message you share, can make a difference. Education and awareness are important elements in preventing the abuse and neglect that is happening around the world.
Awareness activities can encompass volunteer or educational programs, cultural and art events, use of information technology, or any activity that aims to create awareness of elder abuse and neglect. Raising awareness of elder abuse and neglect is a challenge and no effort is too small.
Here are 10 steps you can take to help raise awareness and prevent elder abuse:
1. Learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect.
2. Call or visit an elderly loved one and ask how he or she is doing.
3. Provide a respite break for a caregiver.
4. Ask your bank manager to train tellers on how to detect elder financial abuse. Call our firm for details.
5. Ask your doctor to ask you and all other senior patients about possible family violence in their lives. Call our firm for details.
6. Contact your local Adult Protective Services or Long-Term Care Ombudsman to learn how to support their work helping at-risk elders and adults with disabilities.
7. Organize a “Respect Your Elders” essay or poster contest in your child’s school. Call our firm for details.
8. Ask your religious congregation’s leader to give a talk about elder abuse at a service or to put a message about elder abuse in the bulletin. Call our firm for details.
9. Volunteer to be a friendly visitor to a nursing home resident or to a homebound senior in your neighborhood.
10. Send a letter to your local paper, radio or TV station suggesting that they cover World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15) or Grandparents Day in September.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – You Can Make a Difference
Elder abuse can happen to any older person, a loved one, your neighbor, or it can even happen to you.
Together we can make a difference and prevent elder abuse.