- Aging & Longevity
Be Aware: Elder Abuse
DO YOU KNOW THEM
He or she may be your neighbor, relative or friend. Due to their age and possibly because of health issues, these persons may be targeted as someone to be taken advantage of. Their minds may not be as sharp as they used to be and it causes them to make poor decisions on many levels.
TYPES OF ABUSE
Many elderly have been victims of several abuses:
PHYSICAL: Whether by a threat or actual physical harm.
EMOTIONAL: Verbal or non-verbal acts which cause mental-or-emotional distress of the elderly.
ABANDONMENT and NEGLECT: The one who is responsible for care, refuses to see to it that the basic needs of the elder in their care are met. They may leave someone with Alzheimers or some form of dementia without supervision.
THEFT: The illegal use of an elders finances or other valuable assets.
SEXUAL: Exploited bodily contact of any kind in any type of sexual manner.
Whether in a nursing home, or assisted living homes (senior citizens homes), in a relatives home or even in their own home; signs of abuse can be evident.
ElderAbusePSA by Assembly Access
CAN YOU SEE THE SIGNS
BRUISES: May be indicative of abuse. If bruising is noticed with frequency and/or current bruising is becoming worse.
PERSONALITY and BEHAVIOR CHANGES: Watch for frequent sadness, depression or an acute alertness on the elders part that someone is about to harm them. Watch for body language as well, such as putting their hands up to cover their face or head when someone is harmlessly approaching them.
DO YOU HEAR THIS
EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES: If you notice persistent/consistent 'reasons' for the elderly not being given proper medical care (even when not intentional). Such as:
*No way to get them to the doctor.
*Car is broke down.
*Caregiver does not feel well enough to take them to necessary appointments (on a frequent basis).
PRECAUTIONS FOR SAFETY
You can make your home safe within and without by doing a few simple things:
In The Home:
*stabilizing furniture (removing wheels), *remove clutter to avoid tripping, *installing adequate lighting (using night- lights as necessary), *installing grab bars (being certain to mount them properly), *use a remote/cordless phone
Outside of the Home:
*fill in cracks on the sidewalk and driveway, *properly install handrails and make certain current ones are secure, *remove rocks/clutter, *rake leaves/put them away and have someone shovel snow/de-ice when necessary).
EXERCISE FOR THE ELDERLY IS A PREVENTION MEASURE
CHECK WITH THE PHYSICIAN: An exercise program will help to maintain bulk and flexibility of muscles, keep bones strong, and may improve gait and balance. Their physician may be able to give you booklets and/or prescribe the proper exercise routine for them to follow.
When abuse is reported, elders can receive the support necessary to allow them to receive proper medical care and the basics to live well.
THERE ARE LAWS TO PROTECT THE ELDERLY.
THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR ABUSERS.
PENALITIES VARY FROM STATE TO STATE.
The ' International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse' recognizes June 15th as 'World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.' The designated color is 'purple.' Visit www.inpea.net to download a copy of the 'Elder Care Tool Kit.'
You may also download 'Strengthening Rights of the Elderly' 2010 directly at that same site at: http://www.inpea.net/images/Strengthening_Rights_2010.pdf