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Nation & World

June 15 is 'World Elder Abuse Awareness Day'

Connections Area Agency on Aging works every day to lift the voices of older Iowans. June 15 is "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day." Communities in the US and all over the world will sponsor events to highlight solutions to this systemic social challenge. Connections Area Agency on Aging will participate in this national conversation. Throughout the year, they partner with local organizations and agencies to better serve older Iowans, their caregivers and communities.

Each year, an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected or exploited. Older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could be used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Unfortunately, elder abuse occurs in every demographic and can happen to anyone. It is estimated that only one in five of these crimes are ever discovered.

Current societal practices make it hard for older people to stay involved and connected as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect. Stronger support systems must be created for older people to keep them connected and protect them from abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical or sexual. When a root cause like social isolation is addressed, it will make it less likely that people will become neglected. Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, as well as less likely to go into nursing homes or care facilities.

For more information or if someone may be experiencing abuse, contact AAA at 1-800-432-9209 or visit website www.Connectionsaaa.org.

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