More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and another 16 million friends and family are providing care. A complex disease, living with and caring for someone with Alzheimer's has unique challenges. It is because of this, the Alzheimer's Association has a 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) to provide reliable information and support to all those who need assistance navigating the challenges of Alzheimer's. And, it is why AIM and the Association supports legislation that can have a meaningful impact to provide support services for all affected by Alzheimer's.
Unfortunately, people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia are at heightened risk for experiencing elder abuse — the intentional or negligent act by any person that causes serious harm to an older adult. In fact, as many as 62% of older adults with dementia experience psychological abuse, and as many as one-fourth have been physically abused. Yet, often the professionals — including police, firefighters, emergency personnel and more — who deal with elder abuse have little knowledge about working with people who have dementia.
To combat this shortfall, AIM has worked with bipartisan Congressional leaders on the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act, which would require the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop training materials to assist professionals supporting victims of abuse living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.