The MLO Minute: “WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY IS JUNE 15TH” By Jennifer Simons, Esq.
Although not as widely recognized as other holidays, such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is just as, if not more important, than other well-known holidays. On June 15, 2022, we recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (“WEAAD”). WEAAD first began on June 15, 2006. It was started by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization, in order to raise awareness of elder abuse and neglect. Elder abuse sometimes goes unnoticed due to the victims, who are elderly, and many times unable to speak for themselves, or who are too afraid to report such abuse for fear of retaliation by their abuser. Such as with child abuse or animal abuse, the victims of elder abuse may not be able to ask for help, whether because they are too sick, too frail, or even incapacitated. We as a nation need to be more aware and report suspected abuse of the elderly.
Elder abuse can come in many forms — physical, emotional, or financial. Financial abuse, especially that involving financial scams directed at the elderly, is becoming increasingly more frequent. Neglect can be a form of physical or emotional abuse when the elderly individual is not properly cared for. Sadly, sometimes the person inflicting the abuse can be a family member or trusted person, such as a Power of Attorney Agent or a legal guardian. It is especially in cases as those that the abuse goes unnoticed. It is important for any person who interacts with the elderly on a daily basis to be aware of possible abuse, and to report it. Possible signs of abuse can include bruises, weight loss, depression and withdrawing from family and friends. In the past several years, the Pennsylvania Courts have revised the Pennsylvania Guardianship statute to provide for closer supervision of legal guardians and better protection for incapacitated persons, who are frequently elderly persons. But we all need to raise awareness of this often unreported or undetected crime. If abuse is suspected, it can be reported to the local Adult Protective Services Agency or the police.
The abuse of vulnerable persons can arise in a variety of settings, including programs for the elderly or persons with disabilities. The selection of an attorney to represent you or a loved one in these matters is crucial and it is essential to obtain skilled legal representation as soon as possible. McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse and Ryan P.C. has handled some of the most significant abuse cases in American history and has extensive experience in representing persons who have been abused. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our firm if we can further assist you by Clicking here or by calling any of our office location phone numbers.