Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Elder Abuse Website Closes Rank to Break the Silence

Agencies ‘Break the Silence’; Campaign to launch June 15
By Vanessa White, Independent Newspapers

Karen Stegenga’s passion for educating the public about elder abuse started when her father battled Lou Gherig’s disease for 11 years.

“That was my first exposure to caregiving and the stresses it can cause within the family. Not that my father was abused, but the emotions that go with it. It’s draining emotionally and financially,” Ms. Stegenga said. “It prompted me to get a certificate in gerontology, where I did a paper on elder abuse. It bothers me.”

“Elder abuse isn’t just physical abuse,” Ms. Feldbauer said. “It is physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.”

Which, Ms. Stegenga said, is one of the largest and most unknown form of elder abuse.

“A lot of the experts in the field think that financial exploitation is going to be the crime of the century. It needs to be reported,” Ms. Stegenga said. “We know it’s a family issue.

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