June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, part of World Elder Abuse Awareness Month, which is held each June.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that nearly 1 in 10 American senior citizens are abused or neglected each year. Elder abuse can take many forms: physical and psychological abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.
In addition to these intentional acts of abuse, the CDC also defines elder abuse as a “failure to act.” That’s why we’re sharing with you ways that you can help ease this growing problem in our communities. Those of us working in the elder community know that social isolation is one of the greatest risk factors leading to elder abuse. It is critical to stay connected to adults in isolated communities, especially now as COVID-19 has resulted in even greater isolation for older adults, especially those in residential communities who may not be permitted to receive visitors.
There are many ways to ease the stress and isolation that lead to elder abuse:
- Make a daily or weekly phone call to check in
- Check in with parents and grandparents regularly
- Have your children and grandchildren reach out with video messages using FaceTime, Zoom or other video message platforms
- Be aware of and check in on older neighbors nearby, to see if they need anything, or just to say hello
- Writing cards and letters to those in assisted living or senior communities can go a long way to show our elder population that they are not alone
Want to do more to prevent Elder Abuse in our communities?
Consider supporting organizations that work to engage isolated communities, such as Tidewater Arts Outreach. This non-profit group based in Norfolk brings arts and music to older adults, particularly those residing in assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout the region.
Do your part today to advocate for the growing number of our aging population who are being abused, neglected and treated unfairly.
Need more information? Contact Oast & Taylor.
If you have any questions about elder abuse or legal or health concerns relating to someone you care about, please feel free to contact the team at Oast & Taylor at 757.452.6200. Our professionals are experienced in all realms of Elder Law and can help answer your questions or find resources to assist you.
For your safety, we are also available for online, telephone or video consultations. Call today to schedule an appointment.
Elder Abuse Statistics
- Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse
- Some reports estimate that as many as 5 million elders are abused each year
- Only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities
- Abusers can be both men and women
- In almost 60% of incidents, the abuser is a family member
- Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death compared to those who have not been mistreated
- While likely under-reported, estimates of elder financial abuse and fraud costs to older Americans range from $2.9 billion to $36.5 billion annually
Statistics from “Elder Abuse Facts,” National Council on Aging,
From the National Center on Elder Abuse:
North Carolina: https://ncea.acl.gov/Resources/State.aspx#NorthCarolina