An estimated 5 million older adults, or 1 in 10 older Americans experience physical, mental, and financial elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation each year. Unfortunately, it occurs in every demographic and can happen to anyone—a family member, a neighbor, even you. It is estimated that only one in five of these crimes are discovered.
Each year, throughout the month of June, the Idaho Commission on Aging, our statewide partners, and communities around the world promote Elder Abuse Awareness Month to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15. The purpose of this awareness campaign is to promote better understanding of abuse and neglect of older people by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
As we confront the COVID-19 virus, and physical distancing measures, we know that social isolation increases older adults’ risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, and exploitation and the likelihood of unreported instance of concerns from neighbors and others in Idaho communities. We also know fraudsters are taking advantage of this crisis with new scams. This makes the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day vision of “stronger supports for older adults” more important than ever before. Individual and community prevention efforts and supportive services help keep older adults safe and healthy, to help stop abuse before it happens.
This year, in June, join the Idaho Commission on Aging and communities around the world in bringing awareness to elder abuse as we continue our work to build strong support for elders.
Wear purple clothing or a ribbon on June 15!
When someone asks you if purple has special meaning, start a conversation about elder abuse. It’s more common than you think, and rarely discussed socially.