The Health Care Reform Bill was signed into law last month and everyone is talking about it. The spotlight remains on this bill, yet some portions are as overlooked as the people they address: older people.
Older people made the country what it is today and they are some of the least honored and least addressed people in our nation. They are quickly becoming a larger majority, expected to increase in number to 1.2 billion in 2025, and programs and services are following very slowly behind.
I would venture to guess that most people do not know that elder abuse is widespread and growing problem. According to research put out by the International Network for the prevention of Elder Abuse, "36% of nursing-home staff reported having witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse in the previous year" and "4%-6% of elderly people have experienced some form of abuse in the home".
We have a responsibility to take care of our older people advocating for their safety and rights. The health bill is taking responsibility by allocating funds for new programs and creating government positions specifically designed to prevent elder abuse.
The action cannot end here, there needs to be follow through. People need to know about elder abuse, and it needs to become a topic of conversation in the media worldwide.
June 15th is swiftly approaching and that doesn't mean get ready for beach season. June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Support your grandparents, teachers, nurses, and wear purple in celebration of older people around the world. Get the dialogue going and make sure there is follow through with this issue.
Let's show older people the respect we hope to have, and the respect that they deserve. Visit http://www.inpea.net/weaad.html for more details.
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