World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Do you know anyone who has been the victim of elder abuse?  As the pre-baby-boom generation ages, and as the cost of healthcare rises, so do the numbers of elder abuse victims rise as well.

Elder abuse encompasses many things, from targeting the elderly in a bank or credit card scam, to the physical abuse of one too weak to defend his or herself.  The former often results in the victim’s loss of retirement or life savings; the latter can result in loss of life, as evidenced by this recent article in the Kansas City Star.

In an effort to bring this dark issue out into the open, Sunday, June 15, 2008 has been declared World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day devoted to recognizing and raising awareness of disabled adults and those over the age of 65, who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

If you are the victim of elder abuse, or if you suspect someone you know is being victimized, don’t be afraid to speak out.  The following organizations can help you identify and stop elder abuse: The Elder Abuse Foundation, The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and the National Center on Elder Abuse.

The sad truth is that elder abuse is a growing problem of which we should all be aware.  The next victim could be your mother or father . . . or even you.