Elder abuse impacts about five million Americans each year. This crime, which can include physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation, will result in thousands of cases of illness, injury and suffering for these elderly victims, their loved ones and their caregivers.
According to some statistics, only about one in 24 is reported. With baby boomers retiring and this widespread impact of elder abuse, the Elder Justice Roadmap Project was initiated to collect the thoughts of experts and stakeholders from across the nation. The aim of the Project is to develop a strategic resource to fight elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
The Project's report identifies and prioritizes actions that direct service providers, educators, and researchers can take to benefit older adults in this situation. And as its name implies, it provides a "roadmap" for strategic investment and engagement by policymakers in both the public and private sectors to advance these efforts to prevent and combat elder abuse.
According to its Executive Summary, The Elder Justice Roadmap Project's top five priorities deemed vital to understanding and reducing elder abuse and to promoting health, independence, and justice for older adults are:
1. Awareness: Increasing public awareness of elder abuse, which requires a holistic, well-coordinated response in services, education, policy, and research.
2. Brain health: Conducting research and sharpening the focus on cognitive (in)capacity and mental health, which are critical factors both for victims and perpetrators.
3. Caregiving: Providing better support and training for the tens of millions of paid and unpaid caregivers who are vitally important in preventing elder abuse.
4. Economics: Quantifying the costs of elder abuse, often a huge fiscal cost to victims, families and society.
5. Resources: Strategically investing more resources in services, education, research, and expanding knowledge to reduce elder abuse.
The Elder Justice Roadmap Project strives to simplify a complex set of decisions that magnify in importance over time. Resources are available for families to plot their place on the Roadmap to find missed, current, and upcoming actions they should take.
For more assistance, contact your elder law attorney. He or she will help you advocate for the health, care, and well-being of yourself or your loved one.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report, "Elder Justice Roadmap Project Executive Summary"