Unfortunately, elder abuse is a bigger problem than most people realize. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 2 million elderly individuals have suffered from financial, physical, psychological, and other forms of abuse. This statistic is likely even higher, as it is estimated that for every reported case of elder abuse, five others go unreported.
Reducing Elder Abuse
There are several different steps that can be taken in order to help reduce the prevalence of elder abuse. By adhering to some or all of the suggestions below, you can help the elderly individuals in your life be less susceptible to different forms of abuse.
Communicate Frequently – Frequent communication with the elders in your life will allow you to observe any significant changes in their behavior, which could clue you into abuse going on in their lives.
Encourage Your Elderly Loved One to Handle His or Her Own Finances – One of the most common forms of elder abuse is financial abuse. If your loved one is able to handle their own finances, this will keep them from having to rely on someone else to do the job who may not have good intentions.
Keep Elders Active – Encourage the elders in your life to stay active both mentally and physically. Doing so will help keep them mentally sharp and aware of any negative situations they may find themselves in. Maintaining frequent physical activity can help the elder avoid reliance on others for their own well-being.
Avoid Changes to the Elder’s Will – Sometimes, a caretaker or family member will encourage changes to the elder’s will for their own financial gain. If you become aware of this, you should speak with your elderly loved one right away and make sure that they are not being taken advantage of.
Following the suggestions above may help your loved one avoid situations where they could be subjected to elder abuse. This can help reduce the prevalence of elder abuse.