Social Media Initiative to Raise Awareness of New York Elder Justice Issues

Elder justice issues are slowing making their way into the 21st century. The New York City Elder Abuse Center (NYCEAC) is launching a new social media initiative to raise awareness of elder justice issues throughout the city. The effort is being done in conjunction with other NY public agencies, non-profit organizations, and advocacy groups. The idea is that the joint push on social media channels offers the best chance at influencing public consciousness so that these senior justice issues become part of local conversations. Basic negligence prevention, abuse elimination, and senior exploitation identification are at the root of the initiative.

Sadly, our NY elder law attorneys know that so many issues of senior injustice fly under the radar. Countless seniors are not living their best lives in their golden years because they are not receiving adequate care–in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or even at home. In fact, studies continue to show that most misconduct actually occurs at the hands of those on whom the seniors should be able to trust–including friends and family members. Of course this does not mean that seniors should suddenly be suspicious of all those involved in their care. But it is a helpful reminder of the logic in seniors taking matters into their own hands to set up long-term care plans that meet their needs down the road.

What is the NYCEAC?

Addressing issues of elder abuse and neglect in our area requires unity and collaboration. That is why groups and facilities like the NYCEAC are incredibly important to the effort. The NYCEAC was founded in 2009 to help improve the way “professionals, organizations, and systems respond to cases of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.” The need is ever-present as estimate from the group suggest that–in New York City alone–over 100,000 seniors are victimized annually. A staggering 96% of those cases are allegedly unreported. This creates the false impression that the problem is nowhere near as big as it actually is. Hopefully as more community members begin talking about these issues, that percentage of unreported incidents drop–sunshine is always an essential component of eliminating mistreatment.

While the NYCEAC seems to indicate a facility, it is actually a decentralized group “without walls.” To lower costs, the organization uses existing facilities and resources to meet their goals. They work in conjunction with existing elder abuse prevention networks and facilities. A key component to the work of the group is educating public officials and crucial decision makers on the potential impact of certain action on senior population generally and these neglect issues specifically.

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