Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Each year, an estimated 5 million older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. In addition, elders throughout the United States lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Unfortunately, no one is immune to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It occurs in every demographic, and can happen to anyone—a family member, a neighbor, even you. Yet it is estimated that only about one in five of those crimes are ever discovered.
Elder abuse is often a silent crime. Most of us never see it because most victims are abused behind closed doors by their own family members. And, too often, people who do see it choose not to get involved because it’s “none of my business.”
The law says it’s our business. Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state. (Reference KRS 209.030)
If you suspect elder abuse, you are legally required to report it. You can report abuse at the 24 hour toll free hotline 1-800-752-6200, calls can be made anonymously.
In addition to contacting Adult Protective Services, if you suspect a resident of a long-term care facility is being abused, neglected or exploited, contact your District Long-Term Care Ombudsman or the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency at (859) 277-9215 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our job is to advocate for residents and make sure they get the care they deserve!
To learn more about elder abuse and what you can do to help prevent it, visit the following sites:
- Elder Abuse Awareness, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
- Adult Protection Branch, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
- 20 Ways You Can Help Prevent Elder Abuse, Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services
- Bluegrass Elder Abuse Prevention Council
- National Center on Elder Abuse, U.S. Administration on Aging
- Elder Abuse, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care
And don’t miss the Third Annual Bluegrass Elder Abuse Prevention Conference, July 8, 2016. Registration is free and lunch is provided!