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Our CAUSE it’s AUGUST or Cause of the Month is:
***STOP ELDER ABUSE & NEGLECT***
Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. (An older adult is defined as someone age 60 or older.) Elder abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Perpetrators include children, other family members, and spouses—as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities. Learn more HERE.
As adults grow older they may become more physically frail, may not see or hear as well as they used to, and may develop cognitive problems such as dementia. As a result, they become increasingly vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the number of older adults who are mistreated each year is close to 5 million and is rising. Learn more HERE. Incidents of abuse often go unreported. Why aren’t they reported? Victims of elder abuse and neglect may feel ashamed of their abusive experiences.
Those who consider reporting abuse often choose not to because, in the majority of cases, they are abused by a family member, loved one, or trusted caregiver. It can be extremely difficult to tell others that someone you trust and love is abusing or neglecting you. Read more HERE.
If you are experiencing abuse or suspect that an older adult you know is a victim of abuse, seek help. No one, regardless of age, should be exploited or subjected to harm or abuse by another; it is never “deserved.” It is against the law, and immediate and long-term help is available to victims. If you are unsure if you or an older loved one is being neglected or abused by a caregiver or family member, but suspect that this might be the case, don’t turn your back on an older adult who needs your help.
You might be afraid to get involved, but it is important to speak up about suspected abuse. Rest assured that trained experts who investigate charges of abuse and neglect will examine the situation carefully and then take action to protect the safety of the older adult if necessary.
TYPES OF ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT. There are several types of Elder Abuse and Neglect: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation.
PHYSICAL ABUSE means inflicting physical pain or injury upon an older adult.
SEXUAL ABUSE means touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE means verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation.
NEGLECT is a caregiver’s failure to provide an older adult with life’s necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION means the misuse or withholding of an older adult’s resources by another
Learn more about the types of Elder Abuse from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) HERE
from The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) HERE
and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HERE.
RECOGNIZE THE WARNING SIGNS. IN AN OLDER ADULT: Be on the lookout for an older friend or acquaintance who seems to be in a troubling situation but is reluctant to answer questions about it. If he or she appears hungry, unclean, frightened of his or her caregiver, is frequently bruised, ill, neglected, or often confused, this may indicate abuse. IN A CAREGIVER: If you see a caregiver attempting to dominate an older adult that may be a warning sign of abuse. If the caregiver is verbally or physically abusive to the older person, to you or anyone around you; IN THE HOME: If an older adult or caregiver won’t let others into the home there may be a problem. Learn more HERE.
CAREGIVERS. Caregiver Stress—You’re Not Alone. Caring for an older person can be rewarding. It’s also demanding, difficult, and often stressful work. The caregiver may need to be available around the clock to fix meals, provide nursing care, take care of laundry and cleaning, drive to doctors’ appointments, and pay bills. Often, family caregivers have to give up paying jobs to make time for these new responsibilities.
It may be hard to keep a positive outlook when there’s little hope of the older person’s physical and mental condition improving. Over time, the demands and stress of caregiving can take their toll. A caregiver might not even know he or she is being neglectful or abusive.
If you are a caregiver, make sure you have time to rest and take care of your needs. You can ask a family member or friend to help out for a weekend, or even for a few hours, so that you can take some time for yourself. Some community service organizations provide caregivers a break, called respite care.
HOW CAN ELDER ABUSE BE PREVENTED? Educating seniors, professionals, caregivers, and the public on abuse is critical to prevention. Learn more HERE
If you’re an older adult, you can stay safe by:
Taking care of your health.
Seeking professional help for drug, alcohol, and depression concerns and urging family members to get help for these problems.
Attending support groups for spouses and learning about domestic violence services.
Planning for your own future with a power of attorney or a living will.
Learn more HERE other ways to PREVENT ELDER ABUSE.
NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS FIGHTING AGAINST ELDER ABUSE.
National Center on Elder Abuse. NCEA, directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging, is committed to helping national, state, and local partners in the field of elder abuse to ensure that older Americans will live with dignity, integrity, independence, and without abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The NCEA is a resource for policy makers, social service and health care practitioners, the justice system, researchers, advocates, and families.
National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging. This organization leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. The NIA has sponsors developmental research that will ultimately provide the scientific basis for understanding, preventing, and treating elder mistreatment. This is done by focusing on vital work that must be completed in advance of effort to launch full scale, national studies to capture information on the incidence and prevalence of elder mistreatment.
National Adult Protective Services Association. (NAPSA) is a national nonprofit organization formed to provide state Adult Protective Services program administrators and staff with a forum for sharing information, solving problems, and improving the quality of services for victims of elder and vulnerable adult abuse.
International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. This organization is dedicated to the global dissemination of information as part of its commitment to the world-wide prevention of the abuse of older people. The organization’s aim is to increase society’s ability, through international collaboration, to recognize and respond to the mistreatment of older people in whatever setting it might occur, so that the latter years of life will be free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. NCPEA is an association of researchers, practitioners, educators, and advocates dedicated to protecting the safety, security, and dignity of America’s most vulnerable citizens. The NCPEA was established in 1988 to achieve a clearer understanding of abuse and to provide direction and leadership to prevent it. Through research, advocacy, public and professional awareness, interdisciplinary exchange, and coalition building, NCPEA’s mission is to prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older persons and adults with disabilities.
HOW DOES A PERSON MAKE AND ELDER ABUSE REPORT? If an older adult is in immediate, life-threatening danger, call 911. Anyone who suspects that an older adult is being mistreated should contact a local Adult Protective Services office, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or police.
NCEA describes various scenarios and ways to Get Help, and more information is available from the Eldercare Locator online or by calling 1-800-677-1116.
The national Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, exists to connect you with services for older adults and their families.
You can call toll-free at 1-800-677-1116 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm ET.
If you suspect elder abuse of a loved one, call the protective services agency in the state where your loved one lives.
To find the right helpline, hotline, or elder abuse resources in your local area, visit the NCEA website HERE.
Also you can check out U.S. Helplines & Hotlines for Suspected Elder Abuse HERE.
Elder abuse HELPLINES and HOTLINES in the U.S and other Countries:
US: 1-800-677-1116 (Eldercare Locator).
UK: 080 8808 8141 (Action on Elder Abuse).
Australia: 1300 651 192 (Elder Abuse Prevention Unit).
South Africa: 0800 333 231 (Age In Action).
ELDER ABUSE FAQ LIST. Elder abuse is a growing problem. While we don’t know all of the details about why abuse occurs or how to stop its spread, we do know that help is available for victims. Concerned people, like you, can spot the warning signs of a possible problem, and make a call for help if an elder is in need of assistance. Check out for more Elder Abuse FAQ’s HERE
Click HERE to check out ALL The Dirt Farmer Foundation MONTH CAUSES & CAMPAIGNS since 2012 including Meals on Wheels Association of America, a National non-profit organization that delivers meals to Seniors and Elder individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. Also find all about Alzheimer's Disease and HOW YOU CAN HELP in our Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Campaign that includes resources for Caregivers as well.
Click HERE to visit The Dirt Farmer Foundation