(ENDWELL, NY) – As part of Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo was joined by a number of local agencies Friday to discuss important information and resources that can help protect seniors. Lupardo and representatives from the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Broome County Office for Aging, Action for Older Persons, and the Family Abuse Prevention Council spoke with members at the Broome West Senior Center.
“Elder abuse comes in many forms and is one of the most underreported crimes in the state,” said Lupardo, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging. “Knowing the types of abuse and how to identify them are the easiest ways to protect yourself and others.”
Earlier this week, Lupardo introduced an Assembly resolution proclaiming June 15th as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in New York State. Nearly five million cases of elder abuse occur each year in the United States, but researchers estimate that 85% of these incidents go unreported; the most common forms include physical abuse and financial exploitation, the latter of which costs victims in NYS an estimated $3 billion annually.
“Awareness is the number one tool for preventing abuse,” said Janette Cyganovich, Broome County Family Abuse Prevention Council Coordinator. “If you’re the victim of abuse, or suspect someone you know is being abused, report it immediately.”
Other forms of elder abuse include sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect. Elders who have been abused have nearly a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not. Compared to non-victims, the victims of elder mistreatment have significantly higher levels of psychological distress, less social support and perceived self-efficacy.
A “Smart Seniors” pamphlet with information on scams, internet safety, identity theft, physical abuse, and neglect is available by clicking here. For more information on elder abuse and to learn about available resources in the community, contact the Family Abuse Prevention Council at 607-778-2153.