- Whereas 1.5 to 2 million older adults are maltreated annually in the U.S., and
- Whereas only 1 in every 8 of these cases is reported; and
- Whereas elder abuse and neglect take many forms such as:
■ Physical – beatings, sexual abuse, improper use of restraints or medication and failure to provide food/fluids, shelter and clothing;
■ Psychological – verbal abuse, improper use of medications, sexual abuse, isolation abuse;
■ Financial – stealing possessions, misuse or waste of assets;
Therefore the United Methodist Committee on Older Adult Ministries calls on The United Methodist Church to break the silence and to address this social ill through:
■ Education and awareness,
■ Information, counseling, and referral services,
■ Support systems,
■ Reports to the proper authorities when abuse is suspected.
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS
- Provide workshops.
- Collaborate with the state government on training in prevention and intervention in Older Adult Abuse, adding a faith dimension.
- Provide sensitivity training re: working with an older adult population.
INFORMATION COUNSELING AND REFERRAL SERVICES
- Distribute Elder Abuse bulletin inserts as well as material available from AARP and Citizens for Better Care.
- Develop counseling/referral services with the aid of the Parish Nurse Program.
- Contact local Area Agencies on Aging for information.
- Develop support groups for the abused and hold at local churches or clusters.
- Provide support groups for the abuser and treatment on ways to change behavior
- Build Advocacy Committee to work with the state legislators and local officials to address Elder Abuse and other Older Adult issues.
REPORTS TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES WHEN ABUSE IS SUSPECTED
- Report older adult abuse to Adult Protective Services and other related agencies.
- Citizens for Better Care.
And through this RESOURCE:
Toll-free National Domestic Violence Hotline—funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by trained counselors. 1-800-799-7233 (voice), 1 -880-787-3224 (TTY),www.ndvh.org.