Tuesday, June 8, 2010

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is recognized by communities throughout the world as a time to increase our efforts to raise awareness of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. There are many ways you can become involved in the fight against elder abuse and to help spread awareness. Here are some suggestions that National Council on Elder Abuse offers:

- Make it a priority to visit an older friend or relative, especially someone you haven’t seen in a while.

- Wear purple in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15. Purple is the color that has been designated for elder abuse awareness by the International Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

- Start an elder abuse awareness group on a social networking site like “Facebook,” and encourage friends to join the group. Provide links to information and advocacy resources.

- Reach out to elders who may be isolated. Commit to visiting an older friend, family member or neighbor who lives alone or invite them to a family activity. Ask an older acquaintance to share their talents by teaching you a new skill, such as knitting or how to bake a favorite recipe.

- Volunteer for a program that serves elders. Consider becoming a nursing home ombudsman, health insurance advisor, Money Management Program volunteer, home-delivered meals driver, medical escort or friendly visitor.

You’ll find more suggestions like these on NCEA’s web site at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/index.aspx.

Anyone who suspects elder abuse should report it to their local elder services protection agency. Protective Services are designed to eliminate or alleviate the alleged abuse of an elder. Caseworkers work in conjunction with community agencies providing health, mental health and social services.

If you need assistance after hours, call the 24-hour Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275.

-- by Steve Hargrove, Director of Events and Marketing

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