Submitted by GRADD
OWENSBORO, Ky. — Today, June 15, 2021, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day designated to highlight solutions to this systemic social challenge. The Green River Area Development District Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living is committed to spreading awareness about elder abuse and neglect to ensure that our community members can thrive as they age.
Americans believe in justice for all, yet fail to live up to this belief by allowing older members of society to be abused or neglected. Older people are vital, contributing members of American society and their maltreatment diminishes all of us. Just as people have confronted and addressed the social issues of child abuse and domestic violence, so too can solutions be found to address issues like elder abuse, which also threatens the well-being of the community.
Societal policies and practices make it hard for older people to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect. As a country, we can design stronger societal supports to keep our older people connected and protect them from abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical, or sexual. When a root cause is addressed, like social isolation, it becomes less likely people will become neglected. Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go into nursing homes and less likely to die.
We can and must create healthier and safer living environments for older adults, including their homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.
Get more information about how to make a difference by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse https://ncea.acl.gov or by calling the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 to explore local community services and supports.