World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was started by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse in 2006, along with the help of the World Health Organization at the United Nations. Its mission is to expose the rampant issue of elder abuse across the world, helping to promote awareness of elder abuse and the conditions under which it tends to escape attention.
We could not think of a more fitting time to share the facts about elder abuse with your friends and family. The more we are all aware of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse, the better prepared we are to stop it.
No one is immune to elder abuse. Elder abuse does not only affect a certain demographic, culture or class; instead, elder abuse may be rampant in both for-profit and non-profit nursing homes across both the United States and even the world.
There are four distinct areas of elder abuse that you need to especially aware of if you have a loved one in a nursing home. They are:
- Physical Elderly Abuse including pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting and other forms of severe physical abuse. Elderly physical abuse may result in early death of the elderly resident, severe physical pain or the need for medical treatment in hospitals.
- Negligent Elderly Abuse includes using medical or physical restraints, failing to call in medical help or doctors when needed and other forms of neglect like failing to alert immediate contacts or family members of severe changes in the elderly resident’s health. Negligent elderly abuse may result in elderly residents going into a coma as a result of a stroke that was recognized too late, severe bed sores or medical complaints related to negligent care of existing medical conditions.
- Sexual Elderly Abuse includes any form of sexual abuse of an elderly citizen, from sexual assault to rape. Sexual elderly abuse may result in elderly residents developing sexually contracted diseases or suffering physical harm.
- Emotional Elderly Abuse includes verbal abuse of the elderly resident, threatening and other conditions that may cause great fear or mistrust in an elderly resident. Emotional elderly abuse may present itself in elderly residents through severe withdrawal or even loss of life.
Elder abuse is a national concern that we cannot afford to ignore any longer. Our elderly parents and loved ones deserve so much better and it’s time we started standing up for their safety and wellbeing in nursing homes throughout the country.