This is an extremely difficult topic to address but it is nevertheless a topic that we cannot deny exists. It cannot be ignored. To the degree it exists is debatable. The Nursing Home Abuse Center has offered the following numbers:
Only one out of every 14 incidents of elder abuse (including self-neglect) in domestic settings actually come to the attention of local or state authorities.
Only one our of every 25-cases of financial exploitation are reported. These unreported incidents would increase the amount to 5-million victims of financial exploitation per year.
Another study out of the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study indicated that about 20-percent of cases of neglect, exploitation, abuse or self-neglect are reported.
In 1996, about 450,000 US adults who were 60 years of age or older suffered from some kind of abuse or neglect in home settings. When cases of self-neglect were factored in, the incidence of elder abuse rose to about 551,000 cases, according to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study.
According to Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs in 2003, there were more than 20-thousand complaints of exploitation, neglect and abuse coming from nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The most common type of abuse reported was physical abuse.
The most recent studies indicate that 7-10 percent of the elderly suffered from at least one episode of abuse within the past year. Ten percent were cases unrelated to financial exploitation.
While only about one out of every 14-cases of elder abuse even reaches authorities, it is postulated that for every case that is known, 24-cases were undiscovered or unreported.
The numbers are staggering and 90-percent of these abusers are family members.
There are legal services available for those who believe abuse or neglect is taking place. I will not go into detail other than to offer the contact for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) 1-855-500-3537, firstname.lastname@example.org. or https://ncea.acl.gov.
Those of us who have the ability to do so must take every opportunity to guard our physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual well-being which are the precise reasons Luv’n Liv’n exists!
Physically – If Luv’n Liv’n is not in your area, find a local senior group that exercises together. Walk, walk, and then – walk a little bit more. If you know of Certified Trainers that might wish to become partners in our Luv’n Liv’n journey, invite them to visit this website and inquire on their opportunity to fulfill their dream and the dreams of countless others!
Socially/Emotionally – These go hand-in-hand. We are social beings. If we allow ourselves or others to withdraw into isolation as a result of illness, depression or any other factor, we are contributing to the problem. That is a bold statement but, YES, WE ARE OUR BROTHER’S (AND SISTER’S) KEEPER. We must band together to care for one another. True LOVE (Luv’n) is the sacrificial desire for another’s best. True, it might cost something in time, effort or even monies but the reward of saving a life far exceed the temporary challenges of inconvenience. Get involved in church groups, social clubs, volunteer efforts, anything that will draw seniors together for a common cause.
Intellectually – As you have the presence to do so – STAY ALLERT! Read more. Enroll in interesting free adult classes. Make even the simplest jaunt a wonderful mini-vacation by:
Planning your means of travel – even if it is a bus or Uber to a relatively close destination.
Planning your meals – noting and choosing a specific restaurant that is in close proximity to your destination. Check to see if the venue has published a copy of their menu online and determine what you might consider ordering.
These actions are not simply to enjoy a jaunt outside of home. These actions serve to energize brain-power and maintain vital thinking functions. The less we are in need and the more we remain functionally aware of our place in our surrounding society, the less vulnerable we are to those who might seek to take advantage of us.
Spiritually – I personally believe that mankind has been created with a desire to recognize and be accountable to a greater power than ourselves. Religion is a wonderful means of social gathering, mutual interests and mutual goals. RELATIONSHIP is by far the more stabilizing force. Relationship is a personal empowering with a loving God. When I speak of “relationship” I refer to a personal relationship and commitment through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Admittedly, being a believer does not remove the possibility of abuse or neglect. It does, however, offer a hope that no other factor of life offers.
As we remain engaged with friends and extended family members we become less vulnerable to those who might cause us harm. Our high visibility offers us protection. Changes in personality, unexplained physical marks or injuries and sudden isolation are readily recognized by others. This very fact can serve to be a valuable deterrent to an abuser.
What can we do? Live life to the fullest. Stay engaged. Remain aware and connected.
Loads of luv’n,