World Elder Abuse Day Raises Awareness

June 13, 2018
 

An astonishing 1 out of every 10 adults ages 60 and up is a victim of elder abuse (likely under-reported). According to the Centers for Disease Control, elder abuse is defined as "an intentional act or failure to act buy a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult (60 or older)."

This abuse can be:

  1. Physical (i.e., hitting, pushing, slapping, biting, punching, using objects to strike or throw at an individual);
  2. Sexual (i.e., unconsented contact or forcefully exposing to sexual content);
  3. Psychological/emotional (i.e., intimidation through yelling or threats, humiliation, blaming or scapegoating terrorizing);
  4. Neglect /abandonment (i.e., malnourishment, isolating from fiends or activities, ignoring needs or emotions, refusing to provide healthcare, medications or dental care); and
  5. Financial or exploitation (i.e., unauthorized use of funds or property, forging signatures, identity theft, scamming).

According to research, the vast majority of maltreatment is committed by a family member or someone familiar to the victim. As our parents and grandparents age, it can be an opportunity for reflection and quality time together but it can also be a stressful and difficult time especially, the greater their need of assistance. It can create stressful situations as we feel the extra responsibilities of caregiving and as they feel the weight of infirmities and the need for more dependence upon others and medical devices.

There are illnesses and diseases that come with aging that can create frustrations, uncertainty and the need for additional education and support. Diseases such as diabetes or dementia/Alzheimer's can cause a person to act in ways that look like behavioral problems therefore, as caregivers if we are not educated on the disease/illness, we are more likely to lash out causing more harm than good even when we have good intentions.

There are many local, national and international organizations developed to educate about different topics and that may offer support groups as well as online resources to educate us on symptoms of the disease/illness and also what we can do to help. If you are not a caregiver, it is equally as important to recognize the signs of elder abuse and report if you suspect something is not right (see the help guide below). For more information on elder abuse signs, symptoms and what to do visit the websites below.

National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) https://www.facebook.com/NAPSANow/?fref=mentions

Elder Abuse Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/elderabuse/index.html

National Center on Elder Abuse https://ncea.acl.gov/

National Institute on aging http://www.nia.nih.gov/

National Eldercare Locator (NEC) http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx

Help Guide https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/elder-abuse-and-neglect.htm

Dementia umbrella http://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=42WWKi8n&id=23E46B83DD907B777EBE46CE2EB74FD352EF372B&thid=OIP.42WWKi8nzwVaAyAdYgIoBgHaE4&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fkateswaffer.files.wordpress.com%2f2016%2f09%2fscreen-shot-2016-09-17-at-1-39-03-pm1.png&exph=1258&expw=1910&q=dementia&simid=608016051228577499&selectedIndex=24&ajaxhist=0

Tags: trauma, Brenna, Benjamin

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