The elderly population in the United States has been growing at an unprecedented rate over the last several decades, and experts predict it will continue to grow in the decades to come. Unfortunately, the rate at which the elderly are abused and neglected is growing as well. This June 15th, the 9th annual “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” will be held in the U.S. and around the world in an effort to educate the public about the issue of elder abuse and neglect.
According to the sponsors of Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the purpose is to “raise the visibility of elder abuse by sharing information about abuse, neglect, and exploitation in later life and promoting the resources and services that work to increase victim safety and improve offender accountability.”
The National Center on Elder Abuse, or NCEA, has been gearing up for WEAAD since the beginning of April this year with webinars, seminars, and the proliferation of relevant information on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. On June 15th, the first ever World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Global Summit will take place June 15, 2015 at the Securities and Exchange Commission Building, Washington, DC.
Sadly, the elderly are victimized far more frequently than most people realize, in large part because they are vulnerable and make easy prey for predators and abusers. Accurate statistics relating to elder abuse and neglect are difficult to come by because experts believe that as few as one in 15 instances of elder abuse is reported. Elderly victims often fail to report abuse and neglect because they are dependent on the abuser to care for them and/or for financial support and, therefore, fear reprisals. Another reason victims of elder abuse frequently fail to report being victimized is that they are embarrassed or ashamed. Moreover, because elder abuse is a relatively new crime in most states, reporting is sporadic and lacks uniformity, making it difficult to compile statistics from law enforcement agencies. Experts, however, believe that at least one to two million older Americans are abused each year and that there are at least five million instances of elderly financial exploitation each year in the United States.
WEAAD is intended to educate loved ones of the elderly as well as the general public about the scope and severity of the elder abuse problem in the U.S. and around the world. If you have an elderly loved one who you believe may be the victim of elder abuse and/or neglect, contact the experienced Missouri elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.