Raising Awareness About Elder Abuse
June 15th marks the 7th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The awareness day was started by International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The focus of WEAAD is to raise awareness of elder abuse throughout the world. It is a time to reflect on what we are doing in our communities to support those who are elderly, and an opportunity to reach out to families, friends, and neighbors, places of worship and places of employment. Abuse of elders takes many different forms, according to National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) elder abuse is defined as, intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or "trusted" individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of a vulnerable elder. Physical abuse; neglect; emotional or psychological abuse; verbal abuse and threats; financial abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment are considered forms of elder abuse. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Aging's (AoA) reported that older Americans 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 need such as house, food, and medical care. It does not need to be this way. Knowing the warning signs of abuse is the first step toward protecting elders. Some specific tips: Keep a watchful eye out for loved ones, friends, or neighbors who may be vulnerable. Speak up if you have concerns. That means even if you are not sure. You have the right to question. Be involved, volunteer with older adults in your community. Someplace Safe is an organization in your community that is working to combat this issue. Advocates for victims of elder abuse offer presentations on several topics regarding elder abuse, and can give information and referrals to anyone who may be seeking assistance. This day, let's make sure all people who are elderly are valued. Reach out to those who may need assistance. Think of what it will mean for the future of our communities. Contact Someplace Safe today for questions or tips!
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