The Town of Greenburgh is taking steps to ensure that the elderly living in the community are kept safe and are well taken care of. The Westchester Board of Legislators and County Executive Rob Astorino have fought to receive funding for law enforcement officials to provide them with additional training on elder abuse and neglect.
This new training will teach officers of the law techniques to handle elder abuse, neglect, sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence affecting victims that are 50 years old, or older, as well as the regulations governing nursing homes and caregivers. The funding for this training comes from a grant awarded by the United States Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women. On August 10th, 2015, the Board of Legislators voted to approve an inter-municipal agreement between the County and Town of Greenburgh, which would give $15,880.00 to the Greenburgh Police Department to pay for the additional training.
Astorino commented on the funding, saying,”Elder abuse sadly does occur and it’s often not reported. This Inter-municipal agreement broadens training among our local police to enable them to be better equipped to identify cases of elder abuse and intervene to stop it and protect our elderly seniors.”
Elder Abuse – A Sad Reality
Every day, new advances are made by medical professionals to treat and cure countless medical conditions. With these medical advances come an increase in the average life expectancy of both men and women, which naturally leads to an increase in the number of elderly in every community. Per data reported by AARP, there are 108.7 million Americans in the 50 years of age or older category.
Unfortunately, many of the elderly become victims of neglect and abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse has noted that signs of elder abuse can even be missed by healthcare professionals because there is a lack of training on detecting the abuse. Often, the victim may not want report the abuse because they don’t want to get the abuser into trouble. It is estimated that as much as 90% of elder abuse stems from a family member.
Greenburgh is one town that is clearly striving to address the lack of training so that law enforcement officers can recognize the signs of elder abuse and neglect. These signs can include bedsores, unexplained cuts or bruising, poor hygiene, malnutrition, and unexplained wandering by the elderly person.