The COVID-19 pandemic intersects with an elder abuse crisis that already affects at least 1 in 10 older adults in the U.S. The pandemic can worsen this abuse as older adults may be sheltering with their abusers, economic insecurity may be putting older adults at greater risk for financial exploitation, and physical distancing may make it more difficult to reach out for help.
Public health research shows that one of the best ways to increase safety and prevent abuse is to provide information about abuse and available local services to everyone. Whether someone uses the information for themselves or shares it with a friend or family member, this is a good way to provide vital information without singling anyone out or forcing anyone to talk about abuse. When life-saving information and resources are shared throughout the community, they will reach those who need them most.
Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, and Futures Without Violence, recently collaborated to create a new resource for faith leaders and faith communities to help reach and support older adults during COVID-19. If you are a faith leader or a member of a faith community, you have an important role to play. Everyone can be a resource and ally for older adults in their community.
We invite you to visit www.ncall.us/for-professionals/faith-leaders/ to learn more about this brand new resource and to find additional information and links to even more resources for faith leaders and faith communities.