June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It’s a day to raise awareness of elder abuse, promote a better understanding of the issue of elder abuse and neglect, and remind ourselves that we can take actionable steps to prevent elder abuse.
Why do we need a day for awareness?
- The United Nations recognizes elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue
- Elder abuse is more common than you may think. 1 in 10 adults age 60+ have experienced abuse
- From 2002 to 2016, more than 643,000 older adults were treated in the emergency department for nonfatal assaults
- Between 2016 and 2040 the number of older adults age 85+ is projected to grow from 6.4 million to 14.6 million
- Elder abuse is expected to increase as the number of older adults in the US increases
What can I do to prevent elder abuse?
- Check in on older loved ones- especially if they live alone. This can be in person or a phone call. Regular contact helps fight isolation and lets you know sooner if something may be wrong.
- Educate yourself on the signs of elder abuse.
- Talk to your loved ones about scam prevention.
- Make sure to check in on caregivers too and see if they need a break.
- You can find information about respite care by visiting our online senior directory.
What should I do if I think someone is being abused?
- Call Adult Protective Services at (855) 444-3911.
- Report abuse to the attorney general.
- Call 911 if someone is in immediate danger.
We can all take part in creating communities that are safe and inclusive for aging adults. You can take the Ahead of the Curve Caregiver Training and learn how to identify at risk older adults in your community and refer them to the assistance they need.