Prevent Elder Abuse During National Crime Prevention Month!By Jill Poser October 25, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Burglary & Loss Prevention, Family, Senior Safety
As some of you
may know the month of October is dedicated to National Crime Prevention. That’s right; founded in 1984, the National
Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) designated October Crime Prevention Month and each
year since then, government agencies, civic groups, schools, youth
organizations and businesses reach out to educate the public. During this
official month we recognize and celebrate the practice of crime prevention, all
the while promoting awareness of important issues such as elder abuse,
victimization, volunteerism, and creating safer, more caring communities. This
month-long celebration spotlights successful crime prevention efforts on the
local, state, and national levels.
Near and dear to my heart is the
issue of elder abuse. Elder abuse is on
the rise in many communities. Sadly, it is estimated that millions of elders in
the United States, from all walks of life, face abuse and neglect every year.
It is not exclusive to any one race or ethnic background; anyone can be
victimized. In local communities across the country, Federal government
agencies are teaming up with law enforcement and nonprofits to combat all types
of elder abuse. In the last year, the Federal government passed the Elder
Justice Act that coordinates federal elder abuse detection and prevention
programs within the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
An astounding piece of information
is that according to the National Center of Elder Abuse, family members are
typically the abusers and are often the adult children or spouse of the victim.
There are many things that one can consider to assist in the prevention of
elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It takes knowledge and a really good heart
to help prevent crimes of this nature.
So, here are some signs of elder abuse to look for during national crime
prevention month ensure senior safety:
Lack of basic hygiene, adequate food,
or clean and appropriate clothing
Lack of medical aids (glasses, walker,
teeth, hearing aid, and medications)
A person with dementia left
A person confined to bed left without
Behavioral changes that seem
unexplained or atypical, such as withdrawal from normal activities, or changes
A home without adequate facilities
(stove, refrigerator, heat, cooling, working plumbing, electricity)
Some of you may know that there
are organizations, programs, and agencies practicing elder abuse prevention
strategies throughout the United States. Medical alert systems can be used to prevent elder abuse and
here are a few organizations that provide important information:
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA); a national resource
center for anything related to elder abuse.
Additional prevention tips can be found via the
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living
facilities and similar adult care facilities. The Ombudsman Program,
established in all states under the Older Americans Act, is administered by the
Administration on Aging (AAA), and is part of the U.S. Department of Health and
Local chapters of the Alzheimer’s
Association; a great community resource.
The National Family Caregivers
Association (NFCA); supports family caregivers and speaks out publicly for many
The National Crime Prevention
Council (NCPC) encourages agencies, organizations, and individuals across the
world to recognize this underreported issue and raise awareness about the
mistreatment of seniors. It is our responsibility as human beings to commit
ourselves to ending elder abuse in the United States.
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