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Friday, May 24, 2013

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15

Elder Abuse

According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation and despair. 

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to abuse, scams and exploitation. Each year, older adults in the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more from financial abuse and exploitation.  That`s money that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and medical care.

Elder abuse knows no geographic, economic, ethnic or racial boundaries. It can happen to anyone-you, a neighbor, a loved one or friend.  Yet as few as one in five cases are ever reported.  

First launched on June 15, 2006, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is now celebrated on or around June 15 by communities and countries all over the world to raise awareness of this important issue.

Local Elder Abuse Awareness Activities 

Here`s what Council on Aging and other local organizations are doing to mark the 2013 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:

  • June 10: Warren County Community Services and Warren County Job and Family Services will talk about elder abuse in Warren County, the warning signs and how it can be presented.  Lebanon Channel 6, airs weekly for two weeks 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 and 8:30 p.m. 
  • June 14: Council on Aging and Shalom Center for Elder Abuse Prevention talk about elder abuse on local PBS affiliate WPTO/THINK TV 14, 7:30pm
    Guests include: Laurie Petrie and Cindy Fischer from Council on Aging and Gail Davis from Shalom Center.  Program will repeat June 16 at 12:30 p.m. on CET 48.1 and will be available online at www.CETconnect.org/focus
  • June 14: Clinton County Senior Safety Day at the Wilmington Savings Bank Clinton County Senior Center, 2-4 p.m.. Guest speakers, free and open to the public.  717 N Nelson Avenue, Wilmington

What can you do to prevent elder abuse? 

The Administration on Aging`s National Center on Elder Abuse offers these tips for people of all ages to help prevent elder abuse:

Report suspected mistreatment to the local Adult Protective Service (APS) agency or law enforcement. Although a situation may have already been investigated, if you believe circumstances are getting worse, continue to speak out.  Click here for a list of local APS agencies. 

Plan ahead to protect against financial exploitation. Download a handout on ways to protect yourself or a loved one.

Be aware of the possibility of abuse. Look around and take note of what may be happening with your older neighbors and acquaintances. Do they seem lately to be withdrawn, nervous, fearful, sad, or anxious, especially around certain people, when they have not seemed so in the past? Download a handout on Red Flags of Abuse.

Keep in contact. Talk with your older friends, neighbors, and relatives. Maintaining communication will help decrease isolation, a risk factor for mistreatment. It will also provide a chance to talk about any problems they may be experiencing.

Join Ageless Alliance Ageless Alliance is a new national elder justice campaign which anyone can join. Ageless Alliance is based at the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine. It is a grassroots campaign to give a voice to those who have been affected by elder abuse and abuse of adults with disabilities.

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) office to identify local programs and sources of support, such as Meals on Wheels. These programs help elders to maintain health, well-being, and independence—a good defense against abuse. Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio is the AAA for Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties.  Contact us at (513) 721-1025.  To find an AAA in another part of the state or country, use the Eldercare Locator, www.eldercare.gov or call 800-677-1116. 

For more information:

Help4Seniors Resource Directory: Frauds, Scams and Abuse

Ohio Hopes

Ageless Alliance

Aging Updates

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