World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th. It was established in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

We don't think much about elder abuse, maybe because many of us aren't quite at that age yet or have never known anyone who has gone through elder abuse, but it's not something that should be ignored or as they say -  out of sight, out of mind.

Delaware County Sheriff Craig Dumond reminds us that World Elder Abuse Awareness Day:

...Provides an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

Elder abuse is the intentional or negligent mistreatment of an older person, committed by someone who has a relationship with an older person in one or more of many ways or abuse including financial, social, psychological, mental, sexual or physical abuse, and neglect.

About one in ten older Americans are exposed to elder abuse, and many just suffer in silence. That is not right. How do you tell if a person is suffering from elder abuse? Delaware County Sheriff Craig Dumond lists tell-tale signs defined by three categories:

Emotional and Behavioral Signs
· Unusual changes in behavior or sleep
· Fear or Anxiety
· Isolated or not responsive
· Depression

Physical Signs
· Broken Bones, bruises or welts
· Cuts, sores or burns
· Untreated bed sores
· Torn, stained or bloody clothing/underclothing
· Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
· Dirtiness, poor nutrition or dehydration
· Poor living conditions
· Lack of daily living aids or medical aids

Financial Signs
· Unusual changes in bank account or money management
· Unusual or sudden changes in a will or other financial documents
· Fraudulent signatures on financial documents
· Unpaid bills

As Delaware County Sheriff Craig S. Dumond notes:

The responsibility to address and prevent elder abuse lies on the shoulders of all of us and should never be taken lightly. If you see something that doesn’t feel right with you, say something!


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