Tomorrow is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) announced that the 2nd annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is to be held on June 15, 2007. The day is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action which recognizes the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. Throughout the world, abuse and neglect of older persons is largely under-recognized or treated as an unspoken problem at home and at long-term care facilities.

As the average world population grows older, we must concern ourselves with the well-being of those individuals. The elderly are often taken advantage of due to some unfortunate side-effects of aging. If you suspect an elderly person is being physically, mentally, or emotionally abused or neglected please take action now!

Please visit the website of INPEA for further information on this important day
If you’re concerned an older adult might be abused, knowing the signs and symptoms of abuse can help you determine if a problem exists. The following are signs and symptoms as noted by Mayo Clinic:

• Physical injury. Examples of questionable injuries include bruises, cuts, burn or rope marks, and broken bones or sprains that can’t be explained. Other signs of potential problems include sudden changes in behavior, comments about being battered or the refusal of the caregiver to allow you to visit the older person alone.

• Lack of physical care. Indications of substandard physical care include dehydration, malnourishment, weight loss and poor hygiene. Bed sores, soiled bedding, unmet medical needs and comments about being mistreated also may indicate a problem. Lack of physical care can happen to older adults living in their homes, as well as in institutional care settings, such as a nursing home.

• Unusual behaviors. Changes in an older person’s behavior or emotional state may suggest a problem. Examples include agitation, withdrawal, fear or anxiety, apathy, or reports of being treated improperly.

• Unaccounted for financial changes. Financial problems may include missing money or valuables, unexplained financial transactions, unpaid bills despite available funds and sudden transfer of assets, as well as comments about being exploited. Another sign may be older adults who are controlling their finances but don’t allow relatives to see their records.

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