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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15, 2012

On June 15, 2012, organizations around the world will be calling attention to the underrecognized problem of elder abuse on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day . This day is an opportunity for American Indian and Alaska Native communities to better understand elder abuse and find ways they can make a difference in the lives of elders.

Nearly 2 million older Americans are believed to experience abuse each year, according to the Administration on Aging Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving , which estimates that only one in five cases ever come to light. While elders are respected and revered in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, there is a disturbing increase in elder abuse and neglect. Factors contributing to the problem are loss of traditional lifestyle, poor economic conditions, and social isolation, among other things.

Several organizations have formed to improve conditions for elders in Indian Country, including the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving , the National Resource Center on Native American Aging Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving , and the National Resource Center for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Elders Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving .

If you suspect elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation, telephone the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116. If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police for immediate help.