Global and Local Awareness About Aging and Elder Abuse
Earlier this month, San Diego County’s Aging Summit, which focused on Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving issues, occurred just as the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Administration on Aging launched the eighth “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.” The two projects represent both global and local initiatives to educate family members, caregivers, and the public generally about important issues that older adults face today, as well as the prevalence and risk factors for elder abuse.
Nursing home abuse and neglect is an important issue in California, particularly as we await potential changes to the law surrounding residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs). At the same time, however, elder abuse is a nationwide—and indeed, a worldwide—concern that affects us all. If you have questions about how you can help an older adult who has sustained injuries because of elder abuse, don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced San Diego elder justice advocate.
What is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day?
According to the NCEA, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day began back in June of 2006, when a number of internationally focused organizations got together to make it known that violence against older adults is an important matter. Who’s currently involved? The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization initially launched the awareness project under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). Now, each year on June 15, the NCEA and the Administration on Aging also get involved to raise awareness across the U.S., including throughout the state of California.
The creators of the awareness project described its purpose as one of “providing an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.”
San Diego County Aging Summit
While communities throughout the country have an organized opportunity to focus on important matters surrounding nursing home abuse and neglect, the San Diego County Aging Summit also seeks to raise awareness about issues that affect older adults in Southern California. This year, the summit focused specifically on Alzheimer’s disease, according to an article in U-T San Diego.
How does the summit work? It takes place every other year. For 2014, its “major themes” included “safety for seniors and the concerns of family caregivers.” Alzheimer’s patients across California have been injured by nursing home and assisted-living facility employees. Whether your loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia suffered physical abuse or emotional abuse, it’s important to know that a San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer can help.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that about 5 million elderly adults currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and a majority of those victims are women. In San Diego County alone, about 60,000 seniors currently live with this debilitating neurological disease. About 20 percent of those patients currently reside in care facilities. It’s especially important to keep an eye out for signs of elder abuse when your loved one suffers from a form of dementia. As we’ve noted previously, California physicians have been implicated in the off-label use of psychotropic drugs to treat dementia patients. And employees at assisted-living facilities have been named in serious incidents of nursing home abuse against patients with Alzheimer’s.
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