On the eve of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Social Security Matters blog is featuring a guest post by ACL Administrator Lance Robertson offering practical tips to join the fight for elder justice.
As Americans, we believe that people of all ages and abilities deserve to be treated fairly and equally and to live free from abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Tomorrow, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we join the world in recognizing the importance of elders to our communities and standing up for their rights. Here are five ways you can join this fight.
1. Break Down Isolation
We cannot talk about elder abuse without talking about social isolation. Elders without strong social networks face a greater risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. It is up to all of us to ensure that our communities are supporting and engaging older adults. One simple way to do this is by staying in touch with the older adults in your community. So go ahead and knock on your neighbor’s door just to say “hi” or start an intergenerational book club or movie night. You can also support community efforts to empower elders and fight isolation; act by volunteering to deliver meals or serve as a long-term care ombudsman.
2. Learn to Spot “Red Flags”
There are a number of “red flags” that could suggest the presence of elder abuse. Examples include:
- Isolation (especially by a caregiver);
- Unpaid bills or utilities that have been turned off;
- Unusual or quick changes in a will or other financial documents;
- Missing medications; and
- Bruises or welts (especially on the face).
Even if you are not certain abuse is taking place, you can report any suspicions of abuse so a professional can investigate.
Read the full blog post and share this and other elder justice resources on social media using #WEAAD.