Did you know June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Month? June 15, 2020 is designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Since 2006, this has been a time set aside to promote greater recognition of the difficulties that millions of Older Americans face each year. The grim reality for men and women age 65 and older in the United States is that predators view them as easy targets. This means seniors are at significant risk for and often experience abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Sadly, the perpetrators are not always strangers. Just as sadly, the incidents are seldom reported.
If you are an older adult, now is the time to take matters into your own hands. Let us share a few tips on how you can do that in our blog.
First, speak up about behavior that is not okay. Strangers, caregivers, relatives, and friends who mistreat older adults count on them to remain silent out of shame, fear, or both. One of the single most important things to remember if anyone harms you in any way is that it is not your fault. Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of speaking up if you can. This is one of the best ways to ensure that the perpetrator does not keep harming you or anyone else.
Experts recommend that you tell someone you trust if you experience any of the following:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial exploitation
As an Older American, it is important to surround yourself with people you trust. Report those who prove unworthy of your trust. Bring those who prove worthy of your trust closer. Avoid isolation and loneliness, which may make you more susceptible to abuse or exploitation. If you do not live near family or friends, be sure to keep in touch with them as much as possible. Make it known if you are dissatisfied with the care you are getting at home or elsewhere. Report it directly to someone you trust, or use an elder abuse helpline. There are specific resources in our state that help Older Americans report and stop abuse which you may learn about using this link. Take the time to learn about the resources available in your community.
It is also important to take the initiative when it comes to your finances and legal matters, such as your estate plan. If you have questions or you want to make changes, take a moment to schedule a meeting with Attorney Beth A. Prather. As always, we are here for the seniors in our community and their families. Please contact our law firm if you need assistance with any issues related to the prevention of elder abuse, or if someone has mistreated you. In the meantime, please stay safe.