PDT Staff Writer
Friday marks Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Ohio and around the world.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Succinctly, elder abuse may be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, or abandonment. The Senate Special Committee on Aging estimates that there may be as many as five million elder abuse victims each year in the United States.
“Elder abuse is a topic that needs everyone’s attention and awareness. Our agency feels strongly about our role as an advocate for seniors and those with disabilities and encourages our communities to become more educated and aware about the topic of elder abuse,” said Pamela K. Matura, Executive Director for the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7), in Portsmouth.
“Unfortunately, so many elder abuse situations are not reported or referred to for help. Education and awareness is the key. If you know of an abusive situation that sounds familiar to the types mentioned here, please be responsible and report it to the proper authorities,” Matura said.
Kaye Inoshita, RN, Director of the Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program with AAA7 said elder abuse has been a growing problem in the area.
“Over the last few years, we have seen a substantial rise in financial abuse of our area’s elders,” Inoshita said. “We receive many calls about nursing home residents’ families keeping the residents’ pension and retirement income and checks instead of using it to pay for their loved one’s care. Often, it is the resident’s children keeping their parent’s checks to live on. This could be considered financial exploitation which is in fact a crime.”
The Ohio Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman and the Ohio Department of Aging will host a Facebook chat on Friday, June 15, to discuss national and state efforts to prevent elder abuse and ways in which reporting such cases can be improved. In addition to Friday’s chat on Facebook, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. the state ombudsman’s office also feature a series of posts on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ohioltcombudsman) to facilitate a discussion of Ohio’s current efforts to raise awareness of elder abuse and to increase reporting in regard to it.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 234, or email@example.com.