Elder Abuse Awareness –  Ways to make a difference in an elder’s life

 

The Department of Justice observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Thursday, June 15, 2017. 180TLA wants to recognize the profound need for this awareness and share with our community what this means and how we respond to this issue in our organization. As the leading and designated agency in Monmouth County for domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and human trafficking, 180TLA has positioned its mission to be most effective in supporting those vulnerable to these crimes. We are supported by trained, world class volunteers and by our professional staff with years of deep experience. The domestic violence victims whom we serve include all members of a family that are victims of violence that occurred in their homes. Think about the pain that occurs when a person is victimized by someone who is both in their home, where they should feel and be the safest, but is also someone that is in a close relationship with them. This is the irony and the tragedy that elders often face when abused by someone in their homes.  Most of us believe that our closest relationships or family should also bring us safety and comfort. When those relationships are broken by their most intimate relations, particularly because they are already vulnerable, seniors suffer the unthinkable and can become victims of physical abuse, psychological or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation and neglect. Their defenses are down, their world is broken and they are in need of support from agencies like 180TLA and the law.

There is help and there is hope.  Both come from raising the level of awareness of Elder Abuse so that these victims do not suffer in silence; and, the crimes against them, such as psychological and financial crimes, which can be hidden more readily that some others, are brought out into the open where supportive people, family and community members can be effective in stopping the abuse. As the United States Department of Justice notes, “far too many older Americans are suffering in the shadows.”

The Department of Justice is working on multiple fronts to protect elders from abuse and to raise the level of awareness throughout the country.  They have also launched 10 regional Elder Justice Task Forces across the country “to enhance the ability of federal, state, and local authorities to work together to combat elder financial fraud and to pursue those nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their Medicare and Medicaid residents.”  In the home, some elders are also in danger of financial abuse from their caretakers. Family members should be aware of these crimes and share their concern with appropriate authorities.  Studies show that elders suffer physically and are put in harm’s way when the crimes against them are financial fraud and abuse. This leads to both higher rates of hospitalization and mortality.

180 has supported victims of elder abuse.  We have sheltered them in our Safe House. We have supported them in their efforts to be free of the abuse and live their lives in the peace that we all expect is our due when we’re older.  Connecting elders to the people and resources they need to be free of abuse opens a new lease on life for them. If you want more information on elder abuse go to Elder Justice website: www.elderjustice.gov.  If you need support for yourself or an elder call 180 at our toll-free number:  1.888.843.9262.   We’re here to help you in Monmouth County 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many people will experience being vulnerable at least once in their lives. Helping them and showing them how to help themselves during these times is a genuinely kind and humane way to be a part of your community.

Elder Abuse Day proclamation:  https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-observes-world-elder-abuse-awareness-day

Daylight

When you heard about others making New Year’s resolutions did you look down and say to yourself, “Nothing will ever change?”   Maybe you felt as if there’s no hope or at least no hope for you.   First, you should know that 180 Turning Lives Around is here to support you and help you make choices that will bring your shadows into the light and bring the light into your shadows.   Like every change in your life before, this one that you’re seeking, one that is taking you toward choice and away from abuse, starts with a thought.  You have every right to have these thoughts, to have a life free from abuse and you have the right to dream.  What else should you know?  You have the right to take steps toward making your dream a reality.  For many, the first step, like the first of the new year, is a resolution.   At 180 (@180) we know it might take several tries, several phone calls, maybe even several visits before you make a change.  It’s okay. We’re proud of you and we admire your attempts to make your life better, the lives of your children safer, and the way you carry your hopes and dreams for them as if they too are precious.  We believe they are.

Our agency started out by helping others before we had an office, multiple sites for our programs, or even an emergency safe house. We know you have to start somewhere because we did also.  We can help you get started and we welcome you into our world.  We have an umbrella of services that will address most of your needs. And there’s one thing we can guarantee you, a new light in your day.  The road that stretches ahead holds the promise from the seed that we often call a resolution.  We put our hopes and dreams into the reality that is now 180 Turning Lives Around so that we could meet you to discuss your hopes and dreams and let you know that you don’t have to go down the road alone.  We understand what is at stake and how vulnerable you might feel.  New beginnings seem difficult at times, even fragile. But have you ever seen grass grow through cement?  The push of the new, tender growing grass is pretty mighty.  New growth is possible, change is possible and grass grows through cement all the time.  We did it and we know you can too. That’s why we’re here, why we believe in you and believe in your chances for a more secure life filled with dreams blossoming into new realities.