Every year, on June 15th, the world recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). As its name implies, it’s not a day of celebration. Rather, it’s a day to bring awareness to a growing and concerning worldwide problem.
We strongly believe that we ALL have an obligation to care for our elders. Here, we’ll highlight the issue of elder abuse, discuss what it means, and offer safeguards and solutions for you and your loved ones.
Elder Abuse by the Numbers
The Administration of Community Living claims that up to 1 in 10 elderly American’s is neglected or abused each year. According to the World Health Organization, the issue is even worse on a worldwide scale, with 1 in 6 people over 60 experiencing some form of abuse in the last year. And most experts agree that these numbers are likely low. It’s estimated that only 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse are ever reported to authorities.
What’s most concerning is that as the world’s elderly population doubles by 2050, elder abuse is expected to grow, as well. It’s now considered a global public health crisis.
What is Elder Abuse?
The most common forms of elder abuse are:
- Financial abuse
- Psychological/Emotional Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual abuse
Sadly, these forms of abuse are most often committed at the hands of a family member, nursing facility staff or other caregiver. Elderly individuals who have a mental decline in capacity and/or have limited mobility are easy targets. The predator capitalizes on these inevitable weaknesses and becomes a friend, companion and confidant. They alienate family and friends so they become the sole person overseeing everything. Once trust is gained, they make their move.
Beware, financial abuse and scams can happen to even the most independent of seniors. In addition to a trusted caregiver breaching the elder’s trust, complete strangers can weasel their way in as well. These forms of abuse can be more difficult to detect because the elder consents, albeit not realizing the abuse.
Whether you are looking for help personally or for someone you love, here are a few things to consider.
As we age, the best way to prevent abuse is to be proactive. Many forms of abuse can be prevented with an up-to-date estate plan, a caregiver with integrity and a dedicated elder law lawyer. We can help ensure that you have the appropriate safeguards in place.
Seek Justice for Abuse
If you or a loved one has already suffered from elder abuse, quick and decisive action can make all the difference in the world. We can stop the abuse, prevent it from happening to others, and seek justice for what’s been done.
Call us today for a complimentary consultation. We’ll help you determine the best course of action to prevent abuse and seek justice.