Elder abuse is a topic that many people do not like to talk about. Elder abuse includes, but is not limited to physical abuse, neglect and exploitation. More than 50,000 elders are victims of abuse every day and most abuse is by family members. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Elder Justice Act, unfortunately nothing more has been done to help agencies promote the importance of elder abuse. This is a bill that needs attention and for the community to stand behind to help get it moving forward.
Our elders need our help in spreading the word about elder abuse. So many are scared to admit that they are victims especially because many times it is their family members who are abusing them. Abuse among elderly victims have no boundaries and exist across the nation regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. Victims are also three times more likely to die sooner than those that have not been exposed to abuse, neglect, or exploitation. It is imperative for social workers and human service professionals to raise the issue of awareness and keep legislators abreast of the social welfare concerns.
We need to protect our elders and this is a topic that needs to be addressed by all of us. Our elders need love and attention, kindness and companionship; we cannot ignore this issue any longer. If something is not done soon, the number of 50,000 elders who are abused is going to continue to increase. An elder that is a victim of abuse could be your grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, brother or sister and who is going to protect them and stand up for them? It is our responsibility to support bill H.R. 3590 and let our legislators know that we want them to follow through with the policies and procedures. Our elders deserve to be treated as human beings and not thrown into nursing homes because they may be a burden. Let's show our elders that we love them.