Elder Abuse Awareness Month
“You’re not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and your raging courage.” – Alex Elle
The month of June has been deemed Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The aim is to focus global attention on the problem of the physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders. It also seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and brings together older citizens, families, caregivers, law enforcement, and government officials to exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop policies that are friendly to the elder population.
Research has shown that elder abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation is one of the biggest issues facing senior citizens around the world. The data that has been presented by the World Health Organization suggests that at least 6% of the elderly suffer from some form of abuse, a very large percentage of which goes unreported and is not tied in to this number.
We would like to take this moment to encourage the citizens of Hancock County and the surrounding area to keep watch and bring attention to this terrible problem. If you see any signs of any kind of abuse please report it to the proper authorities. Possible warning signs can include physical injuries, including bruises, pressure marks, abrasions, burns or broken bones; unexplained withdrawal from activities, unusual depressions or changes in alertness; changes in financial situation; bedsores, poor hygiene or unexplained weight loss; verbal cues by spouses or caregivers such as belittling, threats or other abuses of power; and strained relationships and frequent arguments between the senior and a spouse or caregivers.
Those suspecting elder abuse should contact their local Department of Health and Human Resources or call (800) 352-6513. To report suspected abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility, call (800) 834-0598.