Thursday, June 14, 2012

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Tomorrow, June 15th, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Administration on Aging states that "Millions of older Americans are abused, neglected, or exploited each year, with an estimated 84% of cases going unreported." You can view a live symposium about elder abuse and financial exploitation today at the White House Live website. In addition, the Ohio Office of the State  will be hosting a Facebook chat about elder abuse tomorrow, June 15th at 9:30am. The guest speaker will be Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Click here to go to this chat.
You can help prevent elder abuse by spotting the warning signs, including:
  • Signs of neglect: lack of basic hygiene, medical aids (i.e. glasses, medications), left without care if confined to a bed, or untreated bed sores.
  • financial abuse: caregiver has control of the senior's finances and does not use the money to take care of the senior's needs or the older adult is giving large amounts of money or gifts to their caregiver.
  • pyschological abuse 
  • physical abuse
You can learn more about the signs of abuse here and more on what you can do to prevent elder abuse from this National Center on Elder Abuse factsheet. In addition, the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs also has a brochure about preventing elder abuse.
If you suspect that an older adult is being abused, you should call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873. Another great resource is the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas elder helpline: 1-800-963-5337. If the senior lives at a nursing home or assisted living facility, a volunteer from the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman program may be able to help. You can contact them via the elder helpline: 1-800-963-5337.

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