Friday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Organizers say the day is designed to raise awareness of elder abuse and neglect, and to renew the commitment to preserving the rights of older adults. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment are areas where elder abuse is most common.
Oneida County Department on Aging Director Dianne Jacobson says a principal form of abuse isn't the first one that comes to mind...
"....the highest percentage of elder abuse is what we call self-neglect. That simply means someone is getting older, getting frailer, and they're no longer able to care for themselves as they once did. When it reaches the point when a person is putting their own health or others at risk, a spouse unable to care for a frailer spouse, that's when it's considered self-neglect...."
Jacobson says every county in the state has a place where you can report suspected abuse and it will be investigated. In Oneida County, it's at the Department of Social Services. The state Department of Health Services also has a number of links on it's website if you go there. We have a link here.
Experts say there are signs of elder abuse in care facilities that include trouble sleeping, depression, unexplained weight loss, being withdrawn, the person stops taking part in activities, has unexplained bruises, burns or scars, looks messy or develops bed sores.