Elder abuse needs attention now

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 4, 2008

The elderly represent the fastest growing segment of the population. The baby-boom generation consisting of persons born in the United States between 1948 and 1958 is beginning to turn gray and enter the 50-60 age group.

Furthermore, the fastest growing segment of the population is those 85 years and older. By the year 2030, people over 65 will represent one-fourth of the total population in this country.

As the older population increases, the incidents of mistreatment also likely will grow. As many as 2.5 million incidents of abuse of older persons may occur in any given year.

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According to the House Selection Committee on Aging, 1 out of every 20 elderly people will be a victim of neglect, physical, psychological or financial abuse this year. Unfortunately, only 1 in 14 cases is ever reported.

What is elder abuse? Why should you know about elder abuse? What are the various types of elder abuse? Who are the abusers? These questions and more will be answered at 5:30 Thursday at Natchez Regional Medical Center in the Cypress Room (first floor across from the information desk).

The Natchez/Adams County TRIAD and the Alzheimer’s Support Group are sponsoring the mini-seminar to all those interested in learning more about elder abuse.

It is very important that seniors, their family members, neighbors and professionals who work with seniors recognize the indicators of elder abuse and report to the appropriate agency.

Put Thursday on your calendar. Come Join us in the Cypress Room at Natchez Regional.

We cannot even count how many elderly cases occur in our county, but through educating seniors, professionals, caregivers and others about elderly abuse, we can stop the abuse and save lives.

Janet McNeely is the director of the Retired & Seniors Volunteer Program.