SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

June 13, 2013

Dear Abby: Learn signs of elder abuse to prevent it from happening

:Dear Abby: Thank you for all you do to keep our seniors safe. Saturday, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On that day, communities in the USA and all over the world will sponsor events to highlight the growing tragic issue of elder abuse.

Your readers — young and old — should know that the U.S. Administration on Aging estimates that as many as 5 million seniors are abused or neglected each year in the United States.

Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, financial and sexual. It also includes people who are neglected. Elders who are abused are twice as likely to be hospitalized, four times as likely to go into nursing homes and three times as likely to die.

Elder abuse can be prevented if everyone would learn the warning signs and report it to Adult Protective Services or the police if they suspect it is happening.

:Mary Twomey, MSW, University Of California-Irvine

:Dear Readers: I was dismayed to learn that 90 percent of elder abuse happens at the hands of a family member or a caregiver. The descriptions of the kinds of treatment these elderly adults experience are frightening, and frankly, not suitable for readers of all ages. That is why I am urging readers to get more information on this important subject by visiting www.ncea.aoa.gov.

We can all stop this scourge if we know what to look for and are willing to speak up when we see the warning signs. There, but for the grace of God, go you and I.

:

Dear Abby: I was married to a wonderful man, “Ted,” who was 20 years my senior. In social situations, his adult children would introduce me as “Dad’s wife” or “Ted’s wife.” Sadly, my husband passed away, and his children no longer know how to refer to me socially.

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