Central New York, Crime, Health

Elderly Abuse Often Goes Unnoticed and Unreported

AP Images (c) 2013

Often elderly abuse happens from those they are around every day

By Dominique Patrick SYRACUSE, NY (NCC NEWS) – Most elderly abuse cases go unreported because family members and close friends are usually the ones targeting them.

“It’s hard to report family members. That’s just usually the case,” said Jenny Ackley, Vera House Project Coordinator.

Today, Vera House had their 21st annual Elder Abuse Conference, and the theme this year was all about prevention. Booths were set up and workshops were held in order to teach attendants how to notice the first signs of abuse. The event hosted more than 200 local businesses ranging from nursing homes to medical centers helping advocate elderly abuse.

The keynote speaker, Alan Berkowitz, an expert in the field of violence prevention, provided an overview of elderly abuse prevention strategies by putting the pressure on those around the situation to effectively neutralize situations. He is known nationally for his advocacy and decided to be apart of the bringing awareness to Syracuse.

The conference also wanted people to acknowledge that physical abuse is not the only kind of abuse that is happening.

“There’s even emotional abuse, sexual abuse and yes this does happen to the elderly. Neglect is one form of abuse and one that goes unmentioned is financial abuse where family members take advantage of them.”

Vera House continues to help increase awareness in hopes that people pay more attention to elderly abuse, especially after cases have hit the national spotlight such as marvel comic creator Stan Lee reported elder abuse. This type of abuse is even grabbing the local attention after the ruling from a judge to move forward in the James Square Nursing Home lawsuit. ASckley hates to admit but when things like this happen elderly abuse gets more attention and she hopes that it will cause people to now report what they see.