June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) – this was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of an older person.
Every year an estimated 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported. In general, elder abuse refers to 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; financial abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment are considered forms of elder abuse.
Most cases of elder abuse go undetected. Don’t assume that someone has already reported a suspicious situation. The agency receiving the report will ask what you observed, who was involved, and who they can contact to learn more. You do not need to prove that abuse is occurring; it is up to the professionals to investigate the suspicions.
To report suspected abuse in our community, you can contact Adult Protective Services at 888-385-4225 in state, 800-203-1234 out of state, and if it is an emergency 911.
Join us at the Suffield Senior Center on Thursday, June 23rd at 10:30 a.m. for a presentation from Dorian Long, Department of Social Services/Protective Services on the warning signs and resources for assistance in an elder abuse situation. Learn how to identify it and take control. Please register for this FREE presentation by Monday, June 20th. You will be glad you did.
Suffield Senior Center
and Mini Bus Transportation