Elder abuse is becoming a significant problem in our society. The American Psychological Association estimates that nearly two million elderly individuals have suffered at some point in time from psychological, physical, financial, sexual, and other types of elder abuse. It is further estimated that this statistic may be even higher, given that for every reported instance of elder abuse, nearly five other cases are unreported.
Ways to Reduce Elder Abuse
There are a number of ways that those concerned about elder abuse can help reduce these occurrences. Following the suggestions below can help you protect the elderly individuals in your life.
Warn elders to be careful of solicitations online, by mail, or over the phone – There are many reports of recent scams designed to target the elderly, in particular – their money.
Encourage physical activity. By encouraging the elders in your life to maintain an active lifestyle, both physically and mentally, you will help them to keep their mind sharp. This will help them to notice any unfavorable situations they may find themselves in. Maintaining mental and physical sharpness will also help elders avoid having to rely on others too heavily.
Frequent communication is key. Take the time to contact the elders in your life, even for just a brief phone call or visit. Keeping in touch will help you to notice any changes in their behavior, and it will also keep the lines of trust open so that you can help out if needed.
Speak with the elderly person if you become aware of any suspicious changes to their will. The most common type of elder abuse is financial abuse. This can come from a family member or even a caretaker. If you notice something odd about any changes, be sure to talk to the elderly individual right away to make sure that they are not having their finances taken advantage of.