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June 15th Marks Global Effort to End Elder Abuse

Caregiver holding hands of an older adult.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day falls on June 15th each year. It was initiated by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. This day serves as a global platform to promote a greater understanding of elder abuse and neglect. It aims to raise awareness about the cultural, social, economic, and demographic factors that contribute to elder mistreatment.

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, communities worldwide advocate for the rights, dignity, and well-being of the aging population. The global event strives to challenge the societal attitudes and systemic flaws that enable elder abuse and neglect to persist. Additionally, it calls for efforts to create a more inclusive, respectful, and supportive environment.

How prevalent is elder abuse?

Alarmingly, around one in ten Americans aged 60 or older has experienced some form of elder abuse or neglect, as reported by the National Council on Aging. The consequences of such abuse often range from physical injuries and psychological trauma to premature death. Furthermore, it's estimated that older Americans collectively lose a staggering $36.5 billion annually due to financial exploitation and fraud.

The majority of perpetrators are those entrusted with their care and well-being. Despite the pervasiveness of this issue, elder abuse remains significantly underreported. Research shows that one out of every 24 cases is brought to the attention of the authorities.

These sobering statistics underscore the urgent need for heightened awareness, better reporting systems, and stringent measures to protect the rights and safety of our aging population. Effective intervention requires education, legislative action, and a societal shift towards greater respect and compassion for our elders.

What are the most common signs of nursing home abuse?

Elder abuse can manifest as:

  • Physical abuse: This involves inflicting harm through actions such as hitting, improper restraint use, or forced confinement.
  • Sexual abuse: Nursing home residents may experience non-consensual acts, including inappropriate touching or exposure to explicit materials.
  • Emotional abuse: This type of abuse involves verbal assaults, intimidation, isolation, and manipulation.
  • Neglect: Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to provide adequate food, water, shelter, or medical care.
  • Financial exploitation: This involves misusing an older person's resources for personal gain, such as unauthorized banking transactions or property theft.

How do I report elder abuse in nursing homes?

If you suspect an older or disabled adult residing in a nursing home is being abused, neglected, or exploited, promptly contact the Georgia Aging and Disability Network by calling 1-866-55-AGING (1-866-552-4464) and then pressing "3." Georgians can also file an online report with the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services.

However, if the situation poses an immediate threat, don't hesitate to call 911 for emergency assistance. You can also make a report to the Georgia Department of Community Health Healthcare Facility Regulation Division by calling 1-800-878-6442.

Timely reporting helps ensure the safety and well-being of nursing home residents. By taking action and contacting the appropriate authorities, you can help protect those at risk and facilitate the necessary interventions and support services. Ignoring signs of elder mistreatment can have severe consequences, so do not hesitate to speak up and advocate for those unable to protect themselves.

Don't wait to take action to protect your loved one

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home in Georgia, don't wait to take action. Nursing home abuse and neglect are unacceptable and can have devastating consequences. Your loved one deserves dignified care and safety. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can be your advocate to stop the mistreatment and get justice for your family.

The attorneys at Johnson Greer Law Group in Decatur, GA, know how to thoroughly investigate, gather evidence, and hold negligent facilities accountable through aggressive legal action if needed.

If you have concerns about the care your parent, grandparent, or other loved one is receiving, schedule a free, confidential consultation with our firm right away. We can evaluate your situation, explain your rights, and advise you on the best path forward—whether through negotiation or litigation. Contact us today to take the first step to protecting your family member. We are here to be your voice for justice.

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