May Is Elder Abuse Prevention Month In North Carolina – What Can You Do?

Did you know that safety advocates believe that only one in fourteen cases of elder abuse are ever even reported? Or that an instance of elder abuse occurs somewhere in the United States every three minutes? Or that 22 percent of elder abuse incidents take place in adult care facilities and nursing homes?

May is National Elder Abuse Prevention Month – a month were elder care advocates across the country strive to spread awareness about the many types of elder abuse and take steps to prevent elder abuse and nursing home abuse in the future.

What can you do to help these two causes during Elder Abuse Prevention Month in North Carolina?

•    Check in on the seniors that you love. Many of us have elder loved ones, but their needs can fall by the wayside, especially if you are juggling child care, careers, and other responsibilities. However, seniors are often forgotten or ignored – and these are the seniors most susceptible to neglect or abuse in adult care facilities. If you live near your loved one, try to make regular visits. If your loved on is father away, call to check in or write a letter. Be sure to ask how they are and what they need.
•    Visit a senior that you don’t know. When it comes to highly visible groups like children or the homeless, volunteers are often available to help with various causes and programs. However, needy seniors often don’t ask for help. Volunteering at a local nursing home can not only help seniors looking for company and a concerned ear, it is also a wonderful way to meet new, extraordinary people.
•    Show appreciation for elder caregivers. Do you know a friend or family member who cares for their elderly parents or another senior in their life? Do you know a nurse of staff member at a nursing home? These two groups are often overworked and overwhelmed – and neither is paid enough for the effort that they put in. Be sure to let them know that they are appreciated. When quality senior caregivers receive the attention and appreciation they deserve, the problem of elder abuse is sure to decrease.
•    Talk to your children about elder abuse. You talk to your children about other world problems and dangers, but many parents neglect to tell their children about the widespread issue of nursing home neglect and abuse. While it may not seem directly helpful to share this information, it will spread awareness about senior abuse and neglect and create a new generation of people who are informed and sensitive to the topic.