Vail Daily letter: Prevent elder abuse
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On this day, communities across the country and all over the world will sponsor events to highlight the growing issue of elder abuse. Our community members — young and old — should know that the U.S. Administration on Aging estimates that as many as one in 10 older Americans are abused or neglected each year. Older adults provide important contributions to our communities; their abuse diminishes our society as a whole. Elders who are abused are twice as likely to be hospitalized, four times as likely to go into nursing homes, and three times as likely to die as those of similar age or health who are not abused.
Elder abuse may be physical, financial and/or sexual. Elder abuse also includes those who neglect themselves. Research shows that most perpetrators of elder abuse are family members and/or trusted professionals, but complete strangers also perpetrate abuse of older adults. Abuse can happen in any setting: in the older adult’s own home, nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Elder abuse can be prevented or reduced with increased awareness. Learning the warning signs of abuse and knowing how to report it is a critical step toward preventing this issue. Eagle County Adult Protective Services and Law Enforcement Agencies are organizations that you can call on for assistance and information. For detailed information on how to prevent elder abuse, please visit the National Center on Elder Abuse’s website http://www.ncea.aoa.gov.
The US Census Bureau indicates that 1,437 individuals over the age of 70 reside in Eagle County. To report concerns of elder abuse or neglect in Eagle County, community members and mandated reporters can call the Eagle County Adult and Child Protection 24/7 Hotline at 970-328-7720.
Eagle County Adult Protective Services
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