The National Crime Prevention Councilis reporting that even though National Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15th, has passed, there is no need to put prevailing trends on the back burner. It takes knowledge and a good heart to help prevent crime of this nature. Elder abuse has been on the rise in many communities. In local communities across the country, Federal government agencies are teaming up with law enforcement and nonprofits to combat this growing trend. Just last year, the Federal government passed the Elder Justice Act that coordinates federal elder abuse detection and prevention programs within the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that millions of U.S. elders, from all walks of life, face abuse and neglect every year. Anyone can be victimized. However, there are things you can do to help protect yourself from abuse and neglect. “Family members are typically the abusers and are often the adult children or spouse of the victim”, said Mary Twomey, co-director of the National Center of Elder Abuse. There are many things that one can consider to assist in the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
State legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of legislation in regards to elder abuse and adult protective services. Passed legislation that authorizes the state to protect and provide services to vulnerable, incapacitated, or disabled adults. In more than three-quarters of the states, the services are provided through the state social service department known as a Adult Protective Services. In the remaining states, the State Units on Aging have the major responsibility. Many signs can predict that elder abuse is taking place.
Some elder abuse signs to consider are:
Some of the organizations, programs, and agencies that pursue prevention tactics are well known throughout the United States. Here are a few organizations that provide resourceful information:
The fact remains that when insufficient resources are provided, corners are cut and elders suffer. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) encourages agencies, organizations, and individuals across the world to recognize this underreported issue and raise awareness about the mistreatment of seniors. Let this be a renewal of a life-long commitment to ending elder abuse in the United States. For further information and prevention tips on this crime please contact the NCPC@ncpc.org.