As large populations around the world continue to age, countries will undoubtedly see a proportional increase in older persons in the next 10 to 15 years. Sadly, this also means that the amount of abuse of older persons is expected to increase as well. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day occurs in the month of June, thanks the to the United Nations National Assembly and other international institutions who first gave this designation in 2006, and it attempts to shed some light on the oft forgotten or ignored worldwide issue of elder abuse. At Rock Prairie Behavioral Health, we would like to participate in raising awareness for elder abuse in our community.
What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is defined by an older person placing trust in someone else or an institution, frequently someone the older person knows, and being mistreated by that trusted person or institution. The abuse can be physical, emotional/psychological, financial, sexual, and neglect. Elderly persons are more at risk if they have memory problems such as dementia, physical disabilities, a shared living situation, depression, or drug abuse.
The Difficulty of Identifying/Reporting Elder Abuse
All forms of elder abuse are not always easily discovered because of the fact that most of the abuse comes from relatives, friends, neighbors, and others who are close to the victim, including some of the financial institutions supposedly charged with that victim’s well-being. The actual amount of elder abuse is probably much higher than reports indicate due to under-reporting. Older people are frequently ashamed or embarrassed of the abuse they experience or are completely unaware of reporting methods. Additionally, because the abuse frequently comes from someone close to the victim, it’s quite difficult for an outsider to recognize and report the abuse so that the victim can receive counseling.
If You Suspect Elder Abuse, Report It
Elder abuse has some of the same signs as any abuse, especially when it is physical. The best thing to be is aware of the problem. As many people simply ignore or neglect older people (which can also be a form of abuse), it is becoming increasingly important that people start to ask elderly people questions relating to abuse and start to look for signs. It is the responsibility of everyone to try to identify and prevent elder abuse. This includes caregiver institutions, who need to be held responsible and accountable for their actions. More care needs to be taken to enforce the rights of elderly persons because abuse towards this group has more serious implications on health and well-being. If you ever suspect that elder abuse is occurring, don’t hesitate to report it to behavioral health services or a mental hospital. Elder abuse is abuse and necessitates the same attention as any form of abuse. At Rock Prairie Behavioral Health, our trained staff take this form of abuse very seriously. For more information, call (979) 703-8848.
Rock Prairie Behavioral Health Can Help
Rock Prairie is a mental health facility open for admissions seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and the initial assessment is free. Our expert interdisciplinary team is focused on individualized treatment for patients and elder abuse is no exception. We are trained to deal with all types of elder abuse and believe that elderly persons deserve recognition, respect, and dignity. Elder abuse occurs worldwide, and we are committed to assess the specific needs in College Station and the surrounding communities, including helping elderly persons with counseling and raising awareness of elder abuse. Call us at (979) 703-8848.