Maggie is 87. She lives alone and no longer drives. Her grown children live out of town, and her only regular companion is her grandson Mark who does her grocery shopping and handles her banking. Everyone says how helpful Mark is, but some family members have suspicions.They’ve noticed his new flat screen TV, fancy smartphone and expensive shoes.
When it comes to older people and their relationships, there could be more there than meets the eye. That’s why World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was created. Today, June 15, is a day when people around the world plan activities and wear purple to raise awareness of the abuse, neglect and exploitation of elders.
Here are six facts about elder abuse you may not know:
- Over one in 10 elders is affected, but only one in 23 cases are reported.
- 90 percent of elder abuse is committed by a family member.
- Those over 80 are most likely to be abused.
- Risk factors for the abuser include substance abuse, mental health disorders and financial issues.
- Financial abuse is the fastest growing form of abuse.
- Often, the abuser is the only form of companionship for the abused.
It’s important to raise awareness for this serious problem today by getting involved in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. But it’s even more important to watch out for the red flags of abuse on the other 364 days of the year. To learn more about elder abuse and how to report it, visit www.ncea.aoa.gov or call 1-800-677-1116.