Wearing purple to note World Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a real and happening. As a community it is important to be just that — a community! A community is aware of its members-family, friends and neighbors looking out for each other. I once heard that the best burglar alarm is a nosy neighbor. While that makes us laugh — it is really true.
When you are aware-see things, hear things and know or suspect problems- something can be done about it. According to the New York State Office for the Aging, 260,000 older adults are victims of abuse every year. Furthermore, for every one case reported, 23 cases go unreported. These folks suffer in silence and the outcomes can be deadly and disastrous. Some things to look for are in our older adult friends, neighbors and family:
¯ Seems depressed, confused, or withdrawn.
¯ Is isolated from friends and family.
¯ Has unexplained bruises, burns, or scars.
¯ Exhibits poor hygiene or appears underfed, dehydrated, overmedicated or under medicated, or is not receiving needed care for medical problems.
¯ Has bed sores or unexplained injuries
¯ Exhibits recent changes in banking or spending patterns
There are many types of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, financial, neglect and abandonment. The abuse itself is not always easy to see or hear directly happening. The effects of the abuse may be more detectable if we know what the warning signs are and what to look for and who to report it to.
There is a national non-emergency elder abuse help line and you can call 844-746-6905 if you have concerns and want to talk to someone about that. Services are free and confidential. You can call your local county APS directly at 716-753-4447. You can call the New York state office of children and family services bureau protective services hotline specifically for our older adults at 844-697-3505. Call 9-1-1 if someone is in immediate danger or risk of harm. You can also call NY Connects for more information on these situations. For families and friends of residents in facilities can also consult the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which is available in every region of the state to help residents understand and exercise their rights to quality care. That New York statewide hotline is 1 (855) 582-6769.
One of the ways you can help is to talk about this with others and wear the color purple on June 15 2022. Share your picture on social media and let people know what it is all about. #elderjustice #elderabuse #WEAAD #WEAAD2022 #ElderAbusePrevention.
Add a bit of information like: Today you’ll see me wearing purple for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It’s my way of reminding friends and loved ones: If you see something, say something. Talk about elder abuse with a loved one. Help advocate for our most vulnerable today. Learn more at https://aging.ny.gov/programs/elder-abuse.
Or this: Elder abuse is more common than many people think. Today I am wearing purple to help raise awareness of this hidden tragedy. 1 in 10 older adults are likely to become a victim of elder abuse. It’s everyone’s concern: yours, mine, our community’s. Learn more and act today. Talk to a loved one, stay in touch, watch for the signs. Learn more at https://aging.ny.gov/programs/elder-abuse.
The Chautauqua County NY Connects program can provide Information and Assistance on available long-term services and supports options to individuals of all ages with disabilities, and caregivers. Information and Assistance is available in various ways including telephone access, face-to-face meetings in the community, or email. NY Connects can accessed through its statewide telephone number (800-342-9871), which connects callers with local offices by county. There is an online resource tool called the NY Connects Resource directory as well at www.nyconnects.ny.gov. There are NY Connects programs located with the Office for Aging Services (OFAS) and the Southwestern Independent Living Center (SILC). You can reach NY Connects by phone: 716-753-4582, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Southwestern Independent Living NY Connects at 716-661-3010 or 716-490-7561. We are here for you and can connect you to assistance.