The Elder Care and Elder Abuse National Initiative was developed to address the growing challenges facing our seniors and disabled adults. There is an increasing number of baby boomers that are working well past retirement age, while others are re-entering the workforce in their 50's, 60's, and 70's. The African American community is least prepared when it comes to retirement, estate planning, and understanding the legal and financial preparation needed to care for parents, grandparents, and, ultimately, for our own long term care. Additionally, there are many adults with disabilities that are in need of support to enhance their personal and financial independence. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has identified some key challenges facing this group and their caregivers.
One of the primary challenges for caregivers is facing responsibilities for seniors and disabled adults with little or no warning, little or no knowledge about available services, the cost involved, or no time to research alternative resources to prepare the family.
Caregivers are also challenged as they navigate the complex, multiple service system, departments and agencies that do not coordinate screening, eligibility, or care assessments.
Additionally, the failure of seniors to prepare for their long-term care needs while cognitive before a crisis can cause physical, emotional, and financial stresses to both the senior and caregiver.
The Elder Care and Elder Abuse initiative promotes public awareness, and provides education and outreach resources, which are critical to protect our elders from abuse, fraud, and neglect. Legal and financial workshops and seminars are necessary to educate seniors on the importance of advance planning for long-term care, allowing them to live a better quality of life, on their own terms, for as long as possible.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15, kicks off our campaign to distribute information in our communities on identifying signs of elder abuse and where victims can go for assistance. According to Ageless Alliance, 1 out of 10 older adults are victims of abuse. Members throughout the country place informational table tents in restaurants, businesses, churches and libraries all over the country.