The US Department of Justice recently released a report on the growing issue of elder abuse. Going beyond the standard concerns about physical abuse issues in elder care, they also addressed neglect and financial exploitation by both professional caregivers and family members. Amazingly, while elder abuse in its various forms affects five million elders every year, only one in 24 families report instances of abuse to the authorities.
Seeking to raise awareness of the issues, this report provides assistance by outlining five important priorities for recognizing, preventing and addressing elder abuse:
- Awareness. The public needs to hear more about this issue. This requires a coordinated approach to education, policy and research by appropriate social service and government agencies.
- Increasing Brain Health. Ongoing research in the field of elder mental health can help increase mental capacity, which will help prevent abuse. This is because elders suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s are much more likely to be abused.
- Caregiver Support. Additional support and training should be given to both professional and unpaid caregivers, of which there are over 10 million in this country. Caregivers are aware of the life situations of those elders they support, which means they have a critical role in preventing elder abuse.
- The Economic Cost. There is a great need for statistics that can clearly illustrate the scope of the cost of elder abuse for victims and their families, as well as society at large. Once the scope of the problem is well-known, people will be less likely to stay silent.
- Expanding Resources. There must be a public commitment in terms of services, education and research. The US needs an influx of spending in order to expand our knowledge base and publicize the issue.
While this Roadmap points out some important priorities, individuals can do their part now to combat elder abuse.The National Center on Elder Abuse has a website with additional information, and you can call them to report elder abuse at 800-677-1116. If you have other questions on this issue, feel free to contact us as well.
- How Residential Aide Workers Will Save Your Family
- 3 Reasons You Should Have Per Diem Direct Care Staff On Hand
- Mobile Therapists - BH Is On The Move to Provide Patient Care