Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bloggers Unite: Elder Abuse

Margie: Edna, I was just reading this old magazine article about elder abuse. Did you know that every year about 2.1 million older Americans are victims of some type of abuse or neglect?

Edna: That's horrible, Margie. Why would anyone want to abuse their elders?

Margie: It says here that some are abused because someone wants their money or property. It can also be something as simple as leaving the elderly person alone with nothing to eat. Edna, we may not have children but children are sometimes the most verbally abusive to an elder person. That's just not right is it?

Edna: No, it's not right. That shouldn't happen to anyone. How awful that someone who loves you and is supposed to take care of you could treat you like that. If someone realizes that it's happening to them, what can they do?

Margie: Read this and you'll find your answer.

Elder abuse is doing something or failing to do something that results in harm to an elderly person or puts a helpless older person at risk of harm. This includes

* Physical, sexual and emotional abuse
* Neglecting or deserting an older person you are responsible for
* Taking or misusing an elderly person's money or property

"Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of physical, psychological, or other forms of abuse and neglect. Those statistics may not tell the whole story. For every case of elder abuse and neglect that is reported to authorities, experts estimate that there may be as many as five cases that have not been reported. Recent research suggests that elders who have been abused tend to die earlier than those who are not abused, even in the absence of chronic conditions or life threatening disease."

** Every nursing home has an Ombudsman who will objectively investigate and resolve complaints and concerns made by, or on behalf of, residents in long-term care facilities. They protect the rights of all nursing home residents.**

National Center on Elder Abuse for data, fact sheets, and other information on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in the U.S.
# The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life for information on coordinating elder abuse prevention efforts with domestic violence and sexual assault programs
# Eldercare Locator to contact your local area agency on agency about volunteering to call or visit an isolated senior.

CANE is the Nation's largest computerized collection of elder abuse resources and materials.

You can support National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse important work by making a donation. Your contribution will help us:

* Explore the nature and extent of the problem and promising approaches to preventing it
* Increase recognition by policy-makers, professionals, and the public about elder abuse and the need for new services and public policy
* Maintain and improve our website
* Support our affiliates in building grassroots, local coalitions to meet local needs
* Provide leadership in advocating for change at the national and international levels

Send your donation to:

Bob Blancato
National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
1612 K Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20006


terocious said...

Abuse can be so veiled and I think elder abuse can be especially hard to spot when it is directed at a parent. In this scenario the parent and child already have a complex relationship. It is in Complex relationships where abuse hides best.

kestral said...

I think elder abuse is one of the most overlook abuses that exist. Thank you for drawing attention to this issue. We as people and we as a nation must take better care of our elderly. Thank you for a lot of great information! I urge anyone who reads this and thinks that they have an elderly friend, neighbor, or relative that may be suffering from abuse to report it to the proper authorities. Stand up for them, for all too often they are incapable of standing up for themselves.

openminded1 said...

I agree that this is an issue that needs more exposure. This is a silent crime that goes unreported in most cases.

Thank you so much for bringing this into the public eye.

maybei said...

What a sad thing. We need to honor our elders. Thank you for the information, hopefully it will help someone out there!

Briarpatch said...

Another important issue that is often overlooked. Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. As a 'baby boomer' myself, approaching retirement age, I thought I would point out that there are going to be more elderly people soon than there have ever been before. And further, these elderly people are going to live much longer than ever before in our society. This issue is likely to only grow bigger and more devastating. Please remember to be ready when your parents become your dependents. I am currently helping to care for a terminal patient who is 82. It isn't an easy job. Be ready with a good reality check when your turn comes.

Anonymous said...

Elder Abuse is difficult to spot, however when it is found it should be heavily punished!! Families put faith in people to look after the older relatives and people takle advantage of the persons frail nature and trust put int hem by the family! if someone is found guilty of elder abuse they should punishable in the same fashion an doctor is for medical negligence!

Jericho Returns said...


I agree with you completely!