Tomorrow, June 15th, is the 7th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The event is organized by various elder abuse awareness organizations, including the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). NCEA is urging everyone to participate in the event by doing something–either big or small–to make a difference in the life of an area senior. Participation can take many forms, from attending an officially sanctioned event to visiting a local nursing home. The purpose of the “World Day” is simply to raise awareness of elder abuse and share basic information about prevention.
Please Click Here to go to the NCEA “World Day” website to learn more about events this week. The website includes many helpful resources on spotting elder abuse, prevention tools, and more. In addition, various video presentations are available where elder care experts share vital information for those concerned about the treatment of their senior loved one.
Elder Abuse in New York
The New York City elder law attorneys at our firm appreciate that elder abuse is a much larger problem than many local residents suspect. The problem remains hidden because so many victims of mistreatment either intentionally remain silent or are unable to understand the gravity of their situation. No matter what the cause, it is imperative that we work to tackle the problem and prevent mistreatment.
New York law has clear rules in place to deter and punish mistreatment of local seniors. Under state statute, elder abuse is “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver to any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.”
Each New York City elder law attorney at our firm recognizes that this definition is quite expansive. For one thing, the abuse includes “negligence” which means that the attacker does not have to intentionally harm the senior–unreasonable mistakes or lapses in care would also apply. In addition, the definition refers to “vulnerable” adults, which includes more than just seniors. The underlying principle, of course, is the belief that all those who depend on the day-to-day assistance of others deserve to be treated with a reasonable level of care. Failure in this regard may lead to civil and criminal sanctions.
Prevention efforts take many forms. Perhaps the most important involve educating friends and family members about the need to keep an eye out for vulnerable loved ones. In addition, seniors can conduct elder law estate planning to prepare themselves for the long-term care that they might need down the road. Having a plan in place to receive assistance when necessary lowers the risk of mistreatment that comes when care is sought out in an emergency.
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