Health & Prevention
Concerned about Elder Abuse
Posted by Wendy Minton Edwards in category on June 15, 2012
An aging friend recently told me about her recent birthday celebration. She explained that several family members came back home, grilled out, brought gifts, and celebrated another year of her life. She described the mantle full of birthdays greetings she had received and said they were all from "people who love her." Her story was heartwarming.
Unfortunately, everyone doesn't have such happy stories. I also know aging adults whose birthdays are not remembered and/or celebrated. Many not only are not remembered with love and kindness, but are neglected and/or mistreated. Elder abuse is on the rise and is projected to increase as societal stress increases. Warning signs of elder abuse may include: bruises, bedsores, burns, untreated injuries, sudden changes in weight or behavior, or finances, withdrawal, avoidance of eye contact and/or quick eye movements, unusual lack of conversation, loss of joy, etc.
Pay attention to the aging adults you know and love. Suspicions of elder abuse can be anonymously reported by calling the National Center on Elder Abuse at 1-202-898-2586 or contacting county aging service providers.