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On June 15th, organizations across the world will participate in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The participating organizations will not only be teaching people what is abuse of older people, but they will also be teaching the public how to identify and stop it.
Other global organizations to note include the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and United Nations initiatives. On a national scale, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Department of Health and Human Services are also tackling this social issue.
If you can't make it to one of these events, you can still participate in Elder Abuse Awareness Day on your own. You can take these steps:
While older adult abuse is commonly thought of as something that only occurs in bad nursing homes, it can happen anywhere, even in the family home.
To identify and stop the abuse of older adults, a person should know about the different types of older adult abuse. The main types of abuse to be aware of include:
Depending on how the abuse is occurring and what type of abuse is involved, stopping it can often be more difficult than anticipated.
Involving legal authorities, such as police or social services, is sometimes the only way to actually stop it. It can be helpful to have some evidence of the abuse, if possible, to better help authorities build a case. Families will often want to handle these matters on their own, which can sometimes be appropriate in limited circumstances.
However, when older adult abuse involves physical abuse, neglect, or theft, police and state agencies can investigate, make arrests, and issue violations, as older adult abuse is both a violation of civil and criminal laws. Regardless of whether police investigate, you can still help a family member if you suspect the abuse of an older person. The first thing you may want to consider is talking to an attorney experienced in older adult abuse cases on behalf of your abused loved one. If you are just a bystander, you can best help by either contacting police or the state or local social services agency.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.