Though most people do not realize it, abuse of the elderly is a serious, and growing, problem in the United States. In fact, a recent study found that one in ten older Americans admitted to having been abused or neglected within the past year – and those are only the victims who are willing to admit being victimized. Experts fear that the actual percentage of victims of elder abuse is actually much higher. To bring public awareness to the issue of elder abuse, “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” is celebrated each year around the middle of June in the United States.
This year, June 15th marks the 9th annual “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day,” or WEAAD, in the United States. According to the sponsors of Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the purpose is to “raise the visibility of elder abuse by sharing information about abuse, neglect, and exploitation in later life and promoting the resources and services that work to increase victim safety and improve offender accountability.”
The National Center on Elder Abuse, or NCEA, has been gearing up for WEAAD since the beginning of April this year with webinars, seminars, and the proliferation of relevant information on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. On June 15th, the first ever World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Global Summit will take place June 15, 2015 at the Securities and Exchange Commission Building, Washington, DC.
WEADD is intended to open the eyes of the general public to the prevalence of elder abuse and neglect in the United States and around the world. Though physical abuse is a common form of elderly abuse, the elderly can suffer a number of different types of abuse, including:
- Physical abuse –including things such as physically restraining a victim, pushing, shoving, or slapping and can even include punching, kicking or otherwise actually assaulting a victim.
- Mental/emotional abuse – usually verbal abuse that may include degrading a victim verbally, threatening harm or abandonment, or name-calling.
- Sexual abuse – sexual abuse of the elderly occurs far more often than people realize and may include anything from inappropriate touching to rape.
- Neglect – may include failing to help the victim with personal hygiene, failing to give the victim medication when it is due, and/or isolating a victim from loved ones or even necessary interaction with doctors and other professionals.
- Abandonment – may include outright desertion of the victim by someone who has agreed to care for him/her.
- Financial exploitation –things such as misuse of funds, unauthorized “borrowing” assets, and/or outright theft of money or other assets from the victim.
If you are concerned that an elderly loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, contact the experienced New York elder law attorneys at The Law Offices of Saul Kobrick, P.C. by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment.