Elder abuse happens, and far more often than we’d like to believe. From financial abuse and neglect to exploitation and even sexual abuse, approximately 2.1 million older Americans are victims each year. Also, for every reported case of abuse or neglect, as many as five are unreported, says the Administration on Aging.
Something must be done. A recent New York Times article shares a surprisingly simple though effective solution: doormen.
Though the word may bring to mind uniformed, white-gloved men at the entrances of fancy hotels and luxury high-rise apartment buildings, doormen are positioned at apartment buildings throughout the city, and in other cities besides Manhattan. Via a program from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, NYC doormen (and concierges, porters, and other building staff) receive free on-site training and assistance in knowing the signs of elder abuse, how to report it, and when to intervene. The city has seized the opportunity for a tailored regional solution to this growing problem, and others should follow their lead.
Every state has a toll-free number for reporting suspected or certain elder abuse. If you see something, say something: find the number you need via this interactive map from the National Center on Elder Abuse.