World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2017
On June 15, 2017 thousands of people around the world will join in observing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) through social media, volunteer community service, and public gatherings. WEAAD is a call to action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of senior citizens. Coloradans can use this opportunity to learn more about how to stay sharp to be prepared for this pernicious threat to the geriatric community.
Colorado implemented a policy of mandatory reporting of elder abuse for people aged 70 and up in July 2014. Following this, more than 3,000 cases of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation were reported in Denver. In Colorado, more than 11,000 incidents of adult abuse, exploitation, or neglect are reported each year. These numbers are staggering. What can Coloradans do to ameliorate this problem?
In addition to raising awareness, individuals can stay informed and attentive to the signs of elder abuse and take legal action when needed. Bachus & Schanker’s team of lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of the elderly in Colorado. They take this matter very seriously. And for Coloradans, prevention begins with choosing the proper care for elderly loved ones, ensuring that their needs are being met, and checking that they are consistently treated with care and respect.
If elder abuse is so rampant and insidious, why do witnesses hesitate to or choose not to report it? Here are a few possible reasons:
- Fear of the consequences of wrongful accusation
- Believing the incident(s) to be just a fluke, coincidence, or misunderstanding
- The offender has threatened the victim to keep them silent
- Fear of not being able to find new affordable care should the offender be reported and removed from their position
- Not knowing the caregiver’s behavior is abusive
- Lack of knowledge of the definition and different types of abuse; not recognizing it when it happens
- Believing you can fix the problem yourself without the intervention of others
- Thinking the abuse is an isolated incident or specific only to the particular individual, even though abusers often abuse multiple victims, not just one
- Fear of losing or breaking relationships between families, spouses, parents, children, grandchildren, etc.
- Denial that a loved one would ever willingly verbally or physically abuse their elder
- The victim is financially or otherwise dependent on the abuser and has no other means or resources for care
- No one else in the family is able, available, or willing to care for the elder if the abuser is taken out of the picture
Some elder abuse witnesses may feel that they have nowhere to turn—but they couldn’t be more wrong. In Colorado, and all across the country, there are many organizations that help prevent and take action against the abuse of your loved ones.
At the offices of Bachus & Schanker, LLC, elder abuse is unacceptable and will be prosecuted no matter where it takes place—in a nursing home, hospice, or the residence of a family member. Your elders deserve better. Secure their rights by being educated, alert, and proactive this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
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