The news and media all over the place are crammed with the stories of domestic violence, drug abuse, child abuse even economic abuse. But there is another kind of abuse that gets very little attention, abuse that affects the lives of millions of elderly people all around the globe each and every day. It’s elder abuse?”a problem that very few people want to talk about or even recognize as a major issue. Elder abuse is a combined form of many other abuses, such as, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse. Elder abuse is a huge problem due to lack of its proper education, lack of awareness, and insufficiency of nonprofit-organizations to help elders from this issue.
Elder abuse is a widely growing problem all around the globe due to its lack to proper education. Many elderly people are abused in their houses from their own family, relative’s homes, public places and even in facilities accountable for their care. Elder abuse occurs when elderly people loses their ability to take care for themselves and there is increased reliance on family or caregiver. Elder abuse can take many different forms such as, physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial trickery/material exploitation. Physical abuse is use of force like pushing, kicking or slapping. Emotional or psychological abuse to elders occurs when they are threatened, insulted and verbally abused. Sexual abuse is forcing the elders to watch pornographic material or touching them without their permission. Eder people suffer financial abuse when they are forced or tricked to sign their properties or give money away their money.
Another reason why elder abuse is hidden yet growing problem is due to lack of its awareness. Many people in America (age 60+) are suffering from elder abuse; “more than half a million reports of elder abuse reach authorities every year, and millions more cases go unreported” (Helpguide.org). Elder abuse is an issue worldwide, yet it’s not very trendy because elder people do not have energy to voice out their problems and ask for help. Studies show how victims of elder abuse are twice more likely to die early than people who are not sufferers of elder abuse. Estimated 2 in every 5 American age 60 + suffers from elder abuse which is about 19 million people only in U.S. And this number gets bigger when looked at the entire world because elder abuse is not an issue limited to just United States, about 900 million people age 60+ are the victims of elder abuse all around the globe. And if nothing is done, this number is projected to “2 billion” people by 2050 (World Health Organization). This shows how important it is for us to step up today because if nothings done, you could be a victim of elder abuse one day.
Scarcity of non-profit organizations that helps victims of elder abuse is another reason why elder abuse is a largely growing problem. Although not very many non-profit organizations for elder abuse exists but “INPEA Make a Difference” is one of the very few organizations that helps victims of elder abuse not only in United States but also internationally. INPEA Make a Difference stands for International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, this organization works under the United Nations and supports to raise awareness to this problem by educating individuals and by camping all around the world to help people suffering from this problem. INPEA also provides advice and resources to professionals, researchers, advocates and families around the globe by providing individual assistance via helpline, websites and social media.
In conclusion, elder abuse is a giant problem which affects the lives of millions of elder people every day. It’s a growing problem that no one seems to care about, but as students we can help by spending more time with elders. Even saying “hi” to the elderly person can contribute largely to making their lives a bit more colorful and joyful. Engage in small conversation with elders, ask their name and learn about their experience. These little things can improve the life of an elderly person by a lot. Students can contribute more by helping elders with walking, eating and caring for minor health problems. Students can also help by raising awareness to the issue through social media such as, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
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