Reducing the Prevalence of Elder Abuse
In our society, elder abuse is occurring at a rate higher than many people would expect. Based on a study done by the American Psychological Association, it is estimated that approximately two million elderly individuals have suffered some form of financial, physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, or other forms of elder abuse. Experts estimate that this statistic is likely higher since there are nearly five unreported cases of elder abuse for every case that is actually reported.
Methods to Help Stop Elder Abuse
If you are concerned that an elderly individual in your life is suffering from elder abuse, there are some things you can do to reduce their risk and get them help if necessary. You can do your part to help stop elder abuse from happening by following these guidelines listed below.
Encourage the elderly individual to stay active. By leading an active lifestyle, the elderly person in your life can help their mind and body stay sharp. Maintaining physical and mental sharpness will allow them to be less dependent on others around them, which may help protect them from abuse.
Warn elderly individuals to be cautious when receiving communications from people they do not know. There are several different scams designed to target the elderly by gaining access to their financial information to get access to bank accounts and other funds. This opens up the elderly person to financial extortion, one form of abuse.
Confirm any suspicious changes to wills with the elderly person to make sure that they were not coerced into making this change. Financial abuse is one of the more common types of elder abuse, and unfortunately, caretakers or family members make take advantage of the elderly person and push them into making significant changes to their will for the abuser’s own financial gain. If you notice anything odd or become aware of any big changes, make sure to check with the elderly individual that this is truly their wish.