Today, June 15, is Elder Abuse Awareness Day. According to the Administration on Aging, this day was initiated in 2006 as a day for communities throughout the world to raise awareness of this issue and its effects on the individuals involved.
In the world of senior care, elder abuse is something we think about frequently. We train our staff to be aware of signs and symptoms and report them as required by law. As leaders, we continually work to improve our own ability to spot caregivers who have the potential to become abusers or who may be stressed to the point of abuse.
Here at IPCed we know that, contrary to popular understanding, abuse is most frequently committed by a family member. Following that, abuse most often happens when a caregiver is overstressed, without the resources or support to step away when care needs demand more than he or she can provide.
Take a minute today to consider what you’re doing to prevent elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. And let us know if we can help. Here are just a few of the tools we can offer in our mutual effort to eliminate this complex challenge:
- Support the families of your clients in a stronger way. Listen, look and notice when a family seems stressed or lacks the skills or resources to interact in a positive manner. IPCed’s Family Learning Center is a resource for you to pass on to family members to offer them education, support and proven methods to reduce caregiver stress.
- IPCed offers several hours of online training in various areas of elder abuse. If you’re a subscriber, you have access to all of them. Mix up the training – don’t repeat the same training year after year – for better awareness on the part of every employee on your team.
- Provide the caregivers on your team and in your community with stress reducing skills and support. Shop IPCed’s DVDs on Caregiver Wellness or online courses on managing stress on the job. Make sure that your work environment includes stress reducing elements for every member of your team.
- Stock your shelves with quality DVDs on this topic. You can share them in community presentations, in family support groups and as loaners to members of your community.
Elder abuse can be devastating to an elder who is dependent in some way upon a family or paid caregiver or vulnerable simply due to age. We can strengthen awareness of potentially abusive situations, and more importantly, help caregivers reduce stress which might lead to abuse or neglect.
We have a powerful role to play in enhancing the awareness of – and reducing the incidence of elder abuse today. What are you doing with your power?