Elder Guru

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15, 2009 Wear Purple

The big day is tomorrow, folks. I send this post out today so that you can remember to wear something purple in support of the cause. Will I wear purple? Ummmm, it’s not exactly my color, but I think I have an older Elder Abuse Awareness pin around here somewhere . . . . anyway, this marks the 4th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) as declared by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).

weaad2009_English_300

If you want to be really active, you can see if there are any events happening near you by visiting this page and clicking on your country.

What is the extent of elder abuse? Following is according to the INPEA:

Information on the extent of abuse in elderly populations is scant. The few population-based studies that have been conducted suggest that between 4% and 6% of elderly people have experienced some form of abuse in the home. The elderly are also at risk of abuse in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In a survey in the United States, for example, 36 % of nursing-home staff reported having witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse of an elderly patient in the previous year, 10% admitted having committed at least one act of physical abuse themselves, and 40% said that they had psychologically abused patients.

Some of the signs and symptoms of abuse include:

  • delays between injuries or illness and seeking medical attention
  • implausible or vague explanations for injuries or ill-health, from either patient or caregiver
  • differing case histories from patient and caregiver
  • frequent visits to emergency departments because a chronic condition has worsened, despite a care plan and resources to deal with this in the home
  • functionally-impaired older patients who arrive without their main caregiver
  • laboratory findings that are inconsistent with the history provided

Help spread the word tomorrow. Help raise the awareness level. Let’s shed a light on elder abuse.

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