Laura’s House reaffirms commitment to the prevention of family violence later in life; partners with National Aging in Place Council and the Laguna Woods Kiwanis Club
Collaboration with these organizations and others throughout Orange County will help to further educate the community regarding the need for improved vigilance when it comes to elder abuse
Broadening its efforts related to the education and prevention of family violence later in life, Laura’s House, a non-profit organization whose mission is to change the social beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse, is partnering with the Orange County Chapter of the National Aging in Place Council, and the Laguna Woods Kiwanis Club.
“The oldest ‘baby boomers’ are in their 60s, pointing to the reality that the population of the United States is aging,” said Marissa Presley, Prevention Education Specialist for Laura’s House. “Research reports have indicated that this trend is expected to peak in 2030, when one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. As the number of older Americans increases, so does the need for programs and services tailored to the needs of this demographic, one which is not immune to the effects of domestic violence.”
Recent studies have found that between one and two million Americans age 65 and older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.1 It also is estimated that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect reported to authorities, about five more go unreported.2 Despite underreporting, studies have shown number of known cases of elder abuse in domestic settings are on the rise, and The National Research Council asserts that the incidence of elder abuse will grow as the older adult population increases over time.1
“We are alarmed by the increasing number of incidences of injury, exploitation and mistreatment of older adults,” continued Presley. “Through our partnerships with the National Aging in Place Council’s Orange County Chapter, as well as the Laguna Woods Kiwanis Club, we hope build greater awareness for the resources and support services provided Laura’s House, including educational programs for family members, caregivers and the community at-large. It is important to us that we teach the community at large to recognize key indicators of elder abuse, and how to intervene appropriately when they suspect a friend or loved one is being harmed.”
As part of its partnership with The National Aging in Place Council’s Orange County Chapter, and the Laguna Woods Kiwanis Club, Laura’s House presents regular workshops and informational sessions throughout the year for members and other constituents of these groups, and the community at large. As part of the organization’s outreach programs, Marissa Presley appeared on the “Social Services Corner” with Marcia Wilson, which ran on Laguna Woods Channel 6 on March 24, 2011, and also met with the Orange County Society for Humanistic Judaism on Friday, April 8, 2011.
Elder abuse is defined by the National Center on Elder Abuse as intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that lead, or may lead to, harm of an adult, age 65 or older. Elder abuse can occur virtually anywhere – in the home, nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions, and it can include physical abuse; neglect; emotional and psychological abuse; verbal abuse and threats; financial abuse and exploitation; sexual abuse; and abandonment. In some cases, self-neglect also is considered mistreatment
Laura’s House currently seeks funding to expand its supportive services for survivors of elder abuse. This program currently provides culturally competent clinical and psycho-educational services for adult women and men aged 55 years and above who are at risk of abuse or its recurrence in a domestic setting.
More information on the programs and services offered by Laura’s House is available at http://www.laurashouse.org/. Victims of elder abuse can get help by calling the Laura’s House 24-hour hotline at 949.498.1511 or toll-free at 866.498.1511. Laura’s House also offers a podcast on the topic of family violence later in life, to listen please visit http://laurashouse.podomatic.com/.
About Laura’s House
Annually, Laura’s House provides residential shelter services to more than 200 women and children, counseling to more than 300 clients, legal services to more than 300 clients and assists with more than 1,700 crisis hot-line calls. The mission of Laura’s House is changing social beliefs, attitudes and the behaviors that perpetuate domestic violence while creating a safe space in which to empower individuals and families affected by abuse.
1Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in an Aging America. 2003. Washington, D.C.: National Research Council Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect
2National Elder Abuse Incidence Study. 1998. Washington, DC: National Center on Elder Abuse at American Public Human Services Association.)