Our agency’s Core Values direct us to be empathetic and involved in our community. For our Benefits Department, that means they strive to earn their trust by displaying empathy while laying out their options. Unfortunately, not everyone cares for our senior population the same way. Too often elderly individuals fall victim to maltreatment. Our agents have had thousands of meetings with clients over the years. One such interaction stands out as particularly memorable for all the wrong reasons. The accompanying caregiver was asked to step out of a meeting due to HIPAA guidelines. Only then did several signs of physical abuse begin to surface. It was mentioned to the individual that help is available if they needed. We were able to get our client the help they so desperately needed. But not all cases of abuse are this obvious. Many times, it can be very hard to spot. But stopping elder abuse needs to be a priority for us all.
Abuse Takes Many Forms
Spotting elder abuse is not always as easy as looking for bruises. The National Council on Aging defines elder abuse as, “…physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Perpetrators include children, other family members, and spouses—as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities.” The statistics involving elder abuse are appalling! Elder abuse committed by someone related to the victim. 40% of abuse involves the individual’s own adult children. One-in-10 adults over the age of 60 will suffer from some form of abuse. Knowing what to look for can help stop the abuse as soon as possible.
Supporting our Elderly Community
Because of the alarming rise in cases of elder abuse, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) became a global event in 2006. Here in the United States, we recognize WEAAD on June 15 each year. The intent of these events is to bring awareness to this awful situation and to educate seniors and their families of the options and resources available to them. In a collaborative effort with Northwoods Credit Union, we created “Senior Day in Cloquet” as our local WEAAD event. We bring together dozens of local senior-serving local community resources like Social Services, law enforcement, home healthcare facilities, and Adult Protective Services. Now four years in, it has grown into an early summer event that the entire community looks forward to. By bringing resources together in one location, we hope our elder population can more easily find the help they’re looking for.
We hope through the hard work of caring organizations and events like Senior Day in Cloquet we will bring into the light all the horrors of this type of behavior. Along with that, we seek to connect seniors with trusted advise and solutions so they can get out of abusive situations.
Here at Reliable Agency, we have a Team of benefits agents working hard every single to day make a difference in the lives of seniors in our community. If you or someone you know needs help, please do not wait one more day. Call local law enforcement and break the cycle of abuse.