Elder Abuse: Are You Doing Your Part to Thwart It?
Soon after Hillary Clinton’s book “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us” was published in 1996, the sentiment “it takes a village” was invoked in a variety of situations to illustrate the importance a community plays in bettering the lives that comprise it.
The same can be said for elder abuse. Making sure seniors are aging with dignity is everyone’s responsibility. If you suspect a senior is being abused — whether it is via financial, physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect — you should pursue the issue. Only when a general awareness is raised and everyone is exercising a level of vigilance will progress begin.
A recent article published in the Wall Street Journal spotlights the awareness concierges and doormen and women in New York City are exercising to help protect their senior residents. Orla DiTaranto, the concierge at a Chelsea high-rise, helped uncover the abuse of a neighbor three years ago when she had doubts about the caregiver. DiTaranto continues to keep a keen eye on the high-rise’s senior residents.
In high-density city centers, doormen and women often befriend their tenants. They can spot abnormalities in behaviors and patterns of their residents. This ability was recognized, and a 33-minute online program was created for these service industry workers who can be vital in reporting and stopping elder abuse. The program provides training on how to spot abuse. It also includes interactive exercises on the various forms abuse can take and information about where to report it.
The need for such a program is understandable given recent statistics provided by the New York Academy of Medicine and the city’s Department of Aging, which are cited in the article. One million people over the age of 65 reside in New York City. By 2030, that number will increase by 50 percent. Even though 76 out of every 1,000 seniors across New York are abused in a year’s time, only one in 24 cases are reported, unfortunately.
If you suspect elder abuse, contact one of the elder abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere or submit your concerns for a free case review here.