Community Blog

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15

By Debbie Humphrey

You have probably read about these occurrences in the newspaper or heard disturbing details through local media outlets. It’s elder abuse and neglect, and, unfortunately, it has become more and more prevalent in this nation and around the world. So much so, that as of June 15, 2006, Elder Abuse Awareness day was established to bring attention to this more-than-troubling behavior.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse and the Administration on Aging, “every year an estimated 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported.”

That is why we, as individuals and as a community, need to step-up with eyes wide open to observe the warning signs of disabled adult and elder abuse, neglect and exploitation in Tarpon Springs, and be proactive in doing our part to put an end to this travesty.

Red Flags of Neglect

Lack of basic hygiene, dirty or inappropriate clothing, and inadequate food

Lack of medical aids such as glasses, hearing aids, medications, canes/walkers, or teeth

Someone suffering from Dementia left without care

Someone confined to a bed for long periods of time without proper care, resulting in bed sores

Living spaces not clean or tidy, with areas of disrepair and safety hazards

Red Flags of Abuse

Uncharacteristic changes in behaviors and alertness, withdrawal from normal activities

Isolation from family and friends

Controlling caregiver who is overly aggressive and verbally harsh, especially when it pertains to money

Inadequately explained injuries such as fractures, burns, cuts, and bruises

Unexplained Sexually Transmitted Diseases [STD’s]

Red Flags of Financial Abuse/Exploitation

Lack of amenities someone could afford

Excessive pay/gifts/reimbursements for care and companionship

Caregiver controls money, while senior does without specific needs

Senior signs property transfers, [new wills, Power of Attorney, real estate] without truly comprehending the nature of the transactions.

We must be vigilant to be aware of these dangers on June 15 – and each day of the year – and do our due diligence to protect the vulnerable. Elder abuse, neglect and exploitation have reached new heights of vicious in today’s fast-paced, technologically-based society.

To learn more about how you can protect your senior family members, neighbors and friends in Tarpon Springs, contact the professionals at Home Helpers today. It is our job and that of their compassionate caregivers to look out for the best interests of those in need, no matter what the situation or circumstance. 727.942.2539

Source: National Center on Elder Abuse