June 15th is designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by the World Health Organization at the United Nations. This day seeks to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older individuals by increasing awareness of this “hidden epidemic.” Each year over 260,000 older adults are victims of elder abuse in New York State. Elder abuse is found in all communities regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic statues or sexual orientation.
Elder abuse can include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; financial exploitation; and neglect. Elder abuse is often hidden and unreported. It is estimated that for every reported case of elder abuse, 23.5 cases go unreported. Elder abuse is not just physical. The most common form of elder abuse is financial. For every case of financial abuse reported, 43.9 cases go unreported.
In Suffolk County, there are many agencies and organizations available to assist victims of elder abuse and neglect. To find assistance, please call the Suffolk County Office for the Aging at 631-853-8200. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.