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Join Alert1 for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Updated 8/14/15 1:43pm | Senior safety is our main goal at Alert1. From fall prevention to member satisfaction, Alert1 aims to provide the best possible service. We help seniors continue to live their lives with peace of mind.

The medical alert industry, like so many other industries, has faced senior scams. Earlier this year a robocall scam was shut down by authorities for targeting seniors with fictitious claims about senior medical alert systems. For our part, Alert1 is committed to fighting against these scams. Alert1 actively reports these matters to CallForAction.org, a Washington DC-based consumer help agency. CallforAction.org reports such incidents to the FCC.

Cases such as these highlight the financial exploitation and abuse seniors face. It is important to stand against such mistreatment of our elders. For this reason, Alert1 supports World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

What is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day?

 

chinese woman. alert1 medical alert systems

 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is an international day that aims to create better understanding of senior abuse, neglect and exploitation. Senior friendly cities, towns and provinces throughout the world organize events with this goal in mind.

The World Health Organization and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse launched WEADD in June 15, 2006. Elder abuse is a human rights issue acknowledged by the United Nations International Plan of Action. WEADD functions to emphasize the need for action against such an important issue. 

What is elder abuse?

Before you can take action, arm yourself with the right facts. Caregivers and friends can be senior allies in the fight against elder abuse. Familiarize yourself with the shocking statistics below:

  • Elder abuse is negligent, intentional or unintentional behavior that harms an older adult.
  • Abuse can be emotional, physical, psychological, or financial in the form of exploitation.
  • 1 in 10 older adults face abuse.
  • 1 in 2 older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s face abuse.

Because elder abuse is prevalent, it is important to be able to spot the warning signs.

What are signs of elder abuse?

 

helping hands/ help button

Early indicators of neglect include a lack of food, medication, or proper hygiene. Observe if the senior’s living quarters are cluttered and unhygienic. Inadequate facilities, including lack of kitchenware, plumbing, electricity and heating/cooling, count as neglect.

 

Financial abuse or exploitation is destructive and can result in a senior lacking the proper funds for basic needs. Things to watch out for:

  • Caregivers who have control of a senior’s finances but do not allow the senior to have the proper necessities.
  • Seniors signing documents such as property transfers without completely understanding the situation.

Physical or sexual abuse is noticeable through unexplained burns, cuts or bruises on senior’s bodies.

Psychological or emotional abuse requires observing the senior’s behavior. Are they withdrawn? Does the caregiver isolate the elder? How does the caregiver communicate or act toward the elder?

How to get involved in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

With the proper knowledge in hand you will be prepared take part in WEADD. Use the resources at your disposal and find how you can raise awareness.

  • Volunteer. Look up your local Area Agency on Aging or Senior Center. Find events where you can offer your time. Give them a call and learn about ways you can be of further help.
  • Organize. Work with your faith community, sports club or anything in between. Develop an outreach plan with a goal in mind. Will you make posters and distribute them to community centers, libraries and cafes? Will you hold a candlelight vigil? Get creative. You are stronger in numbers.
  • Be Heard. Seniors on social media can be your tool to raise awareness. Use Twitter and Facebook to have all your friends retweet or share your posts about elder abuse awareness. Include a call to action. You can like the National Center on Elder Abuse Facebook page to see their posts and use the hashtag #WEAAD2014.
  • Wear the purple ribbon. For the day, pin the purple ribbon on your person. You will inevitably get questions asking what your ribbon is for. Use this opportunity to help others understand the issues seniors face. Alert1 fans in favor of purple can also switch to our orchid colored senior help button to show support. 
  • Attend. Go to an event, fair or panel discussion. Engage with thought leaders and help to create a discussion about elder abuse. Discussions can help generate solutions to combatting maltreatment and exploitation in your local community.

Remember, the goal is raising awareness. An estimated 5 million seniors in the U.S. are victims of abuse each year. Help bring these numbers down by helping others understand the issue. We need to take action and prevent elder abuse.

How to prevent elder abuse

There is no one answer to preventing elder abuse. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Visit assisted living facilities and volunteer to be a friendly visitor.
  • Call or visit your own elderly loved ones.
  • Watch out for signs of elder abuse.
  • Contact the proper officials if you notice something out of the ordinary.

Scams target every demographic. Seniors are an unfortunate notch in a scammer’s belt. Use World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to help others understand senior abuse. Join Alert1 in making senior safety a priority. Give us a call for more information on how our medical alert systems keep seniors safe.