Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted June 15, 2009


Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, designed to bring attention to issues of elder neglect, abuse and exploitation. Falling on June 15 each year, the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) uses this day to encourage increasing public knowledge of elderly abuse and educating the public in ways that such abuse can be recognized and prevented.

>INFORMATION: Nursing Home Elder Abuse

Unfortunately, elderly abuse is a common problem in the United States, with thousands of cases each year, and likely many more that go unreported. Victims are often ashamed to discuss the abuses inflicted upon them, which can include physical assault, sexual abuse, deprivation of food, neglect, confinement and mental and verbal abuse.

Cases investigated by our nursing home abuse lawyers have often uncovered horrific examples of assault, neglect and other abuses that can not only cause serious and life-threatening injuries, but also deprive elderly of the dignity and self-respect they have earned over their life-time,

According to the World Health Organization, 36% of nursing home employees have reported witnessing at least one incident of physical abuse of an elderly resident, 10% admitted having inflicted at least one act of physical abuse on the elderly themselves, and 40% said they had psychologically abused patients.

A 2007 study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that while only 6% of elderly subjects studied admitted to suffering abuse, detailed interviews and exams discovered that 21% of them likely had been abused.

Even minor instances of abuse can have devastating effects on residents, who may be physically frail, already suffering from medical conditions, or dealing with mental health issues.

Family and friends should always be alert for signs of nursing home elder abuse and neglect, which could include:

  • Suspicious bruises or cuts
  • Burns
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Angry or indifferent attitudes by caregivers
  • Sudden changes in attitude by residents toward caregivers
  • Poor hygiene
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition

Numerous organizations that advocate for the elderly will participate in June 15 activities to promote awareness of elderly abuse and of programs aimed at eliminating such abuses, and to increase public and political support for those programs. This is the fourth year June 15 has been set aside for such activities. INPEA has posted a community “toolkit” on their website to help other activists worldwide coordinate efforts and effectively spread awareness.


If you suspect that a friend, family member or loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, contact authorities immediately. To review whether potential compensation may be available through a nursing home lawsuit, contact our attorneys to request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

2 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Bj says:

    I am so glad to have found this site. My Daddy just passed away June 11. I had no idea there was a day set aside to educate people to help their loved ones. I know my Dad was neglected on many occassions and led to a further decline in his health leading to his death. I just contacted a Lawyer today to help with what I feel is the most horrible thing( nursing home abuse) to our elderly. I hope some day to speak out with a loud, clear voice-THIS MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!

    Posted on July 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  • Misty says:

    I was in a nursing home a couple weeks age to visit my boyfriends Grandma. I watched as this nurse force fed an elderly lady who could only move her head around. This stirred my emotions to look for ways to speak out against elderly abuse. I have not stopped thinking about it since seeing it and have even wrote my most reacent speech for my Speech class on it to make sure that people are informed.

    Posted on February 24, 2010 at 1:10 pm

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