Being 25, I’ll admit that it’s not often that I think about old age. However, living and working in the DC area, it’s hard not to keep up with the latest news about Social Security, Medicare, and all of the other issues that our generation will inevitably face one day. The situation can seem so dire that at times it would be easier to just not think about it.
But there are some issues we can’t afford not to think about in the present. Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. And while I think we can all agree the fight against elder abuse is an issue deserving of our attention, take a moment to consider these statistics:
- Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as five cases go unreported (Administration on Aging).
- Elders who experience even modest abuse have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been abused (National Center on Elder Abuse).
- Reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation involving elder or otherwise vulnerable adults to APS programs across the country are rising dramatically due to an increase in the elderly population and lack of funding for prevention (Harmony Information Systems).
You might think that the world B2B tech startups and the world of elder abuse prevention have nothing in common. At least, that is what I thought until we started working with Harmony Information Systems (Harmony). But this Reston-based software company is one example of technology being used for good, providing off-the-shelf solutions for managing the delivery of home- and community-based, long-term care.
Harmony is helping several state Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies prevent elder abuse, protect victims, raise awareness of the issue and generate support for programs to end the problem of elder abuse in this country, with their Harmony for APS solution. This web-based case management system allows APS agencies to better prevent elder abuse, and provide aid and protection to victims, demonstrating just how important a role technology can play in alleviating some of our most pressing social problems.
For more information about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, check out this website: http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/Elder_Rights/EA_Prevention/weaad.aspx.