LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Elder mistreatment diminishes everyone

To the Editor:

June 15, 2021, is World Elder Abuse Day. Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging joins communities worldwide to promote awareness and highlight solutions to this systemic social challenge.

As Americans, we believe in justice for all, but we fail to adhere to this value when we allow older community members to be abused or neglected. Older people are vital, contributing members of American society, and their maltreatment diminishes everyone. Just as we have confronted the social issues of child abuse and domestic violence, we can also find solutions to address elder abuse, which also threatens the well-being of our community.

Our current policies and practices make it difficult for older people to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which is one of the root causes of elder abuse and neglect. Designing societal supports to keep older people connected and protected will lessen the likelihood of abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical, or sexual.

Get more information about how to make a difference by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse https://ncea.acl.gov or by calling Northeast Iowa Area Agency at 800-779-8707 to explore local community resources.

Anne Marie Kofta and Stacie Spears

Elder Abuse Prevention and Awareness team lead and regional coordinator, respectively

Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging

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