As a community it is our duty to protect the lives of our elders. With the advent of technology and the increasing ease of travel, the American community has significantly changed in the last century. Children are now seeking new opportunities away from home and are no longer living just around the corner from Mom and Dad.
As Americans it is becoming increasingly apparent that we need to do a better job in caring for the seniors in our communities. This population has incredible stories and experiences that build our understanding of the past and connect us to the history that has made us who we are today. Preserving the health, wellness and care of our older loved ones is truly essential to the wellbeing and longevity of our society as a whole.
Here in Arizona, our Attorney General Tom Horne realized that this extremely vulnerable population needs protecting and wanted to do something about it. In March 2011 he launched the Taskforce Against Senior Abuse (TASA). The vision of TASA is to protect our seniors and prosecute those who breach senior safety, whether by abuse, neglect, exploitation or scams targeted at our older population.
Since last August, our managing partner Bob Roth has been actively involved in this taskforce as a member of the TASA Advisory Group. Comprised of community, business and government leaders, this group advises the Attorney General on issues concerning our seniors, develops goals in the various ways of protecting our seniors and educates our community on how to identify and report acts of senior abuse.
Here are some ways that TASA suggests you can help in protecting our aging loved ones:
- Be aware of what constitutes senior abuse and know the warning signs. Visit the Elder Abuse Information page to learn about specific types of senior abuse and what to look for.
- Be open to communication. It may be difficult to talk about the abuse with the older person in your life, so try to establish trust and rapport with the person. Let the person feel comfortable through a friendly conversation, and use open-ended questions to allow them to tell their story at their own pace.
- Break the silence. If you suspect an older person is being mistreated, contact local law enforcement, call Arizona Adult Protective Services at 1-877-SOS-ADULT (1-877-767-2385) or report online at www.azdes.gov/reportadultabuse.
- Share this information with friends, relatives and neighbors. The more people who know how to detect and report senior abuse, the more protected our loved ones are.
If you are looking for in-home care for a senior in your life, make sure you know what questions to ask. Please read our Ten Things to Ask Before Hiring a Home Care Agency so that you can be confident that the person or agency you hire will provide the very best care for your aging loved one.