June 6, 2013
World Elder Abuse Day will be observed — not celebrated — on June 15.
Elder abuse is a crime and can take many forms:
Physical is the most evident that results in bruises and worse.
Mental is psychological and can be even worse than physical abuse.
Financial is defrauding or draining of resources of an elder.
Deprivation can be of either food or temperature in life-threatening situations.
Denial of services for health or comfort or other degrading instances.
Economic situations can add to the potential for abuse. However, it can never be justified.
When elder abuse is suspected it must be reported to the local authorities for further investigation. Do not attempt to investigate on your own; it may prove dangerous.
Remember, elder abuse is a crime. Elders, who have contributed so much to our society, deserve to live in a dignified and respected environment in their later years.
Be a good citizen and a good neighbor and report instances of elder abuse, while contemplating that you may also be an elder in the future. In Florida, elder abuse may be reported by calling the abuse hotline at 1-800-962-2873.
Austin Curry, executive director, Elder Care Advocacy of Florida, Tampa
Copyright © 2013, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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