Around the globe on June 15, organizations will hold events to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The day supports the United Nations International Plan of Action that recognizes elder abuse as a public health and human rights problem.
Unfortunately, many people around the world still fail to recognize and/or stop elder neglect or abuse when these incidents happen. The more people are made aware that elder abuse and neglect exists, the easier it will be for them to identify such incidents and take steps to protect their loved ones. Otherwise, elder abuse and neglect incidents will continue to occur in private residents and in nursing homes throughout the world.
Elder abuse involves intentional acts that cause injury or poses a serious risk of harm to an elderly person. The person that commits elder abuse is usually someone who has a relationship of trust with the vulnerable elderly person, such as a nursing home worker, a professional caregiver, someone placed in charge of the elderly person’s financial affairs, or a family member thrust into the role of caring for an elderly relative. Elder abuse can consist of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or abandonment.
OWL, The Voice of Midlife and Older Woman, says that in the United States 1-2 million elderly Americans are the victims of elder abuse. People suffering from dementia are at greater risk of becoming abuse victims. In 2007, The Long Term Care Ombudsmen received some 14,000 allegations of nursing home neglect or abuse.
Not only do our elderly deserve to be treated with respect and have their civil rights upheld-which cannot happen if they are being abused or neglected-but mistreating an elderly person increases their fatality risk by 300%.
Signs that your elderly loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect:
• Unexplained bruises, cuts, or broken bones • Injuries or deaths that occurred after an elderly person was not supervised properly • Sudden weight gain or loss • Mood swings or depression
• The elderly person appears fearful or withdrawn or upset for “no good reason”
World Elder Abuse Day, International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
Elder Abuse: A Women’s Issue, OWL
Related Web Resources:
Nursing Homes, Mass.gov
Nursing Homes in Massachusetts, NursingHomeInfo.com
Our Boston elder abuse lawyers represent nursing home neglect and abuse victims throughout the state. Contact our Massachusetts nursing home neglect law firm today.