Have you ever thought of older adults in your church as being vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, or neglect?
The statistics are sobering. According to the AARP Bulletin, each year 1 in 7 older Americans is victimized physically, emotionally, or financially. But many cases of elder abuse go unreported.
Elder abuse can happen to any older person—someone in your church, your neighbor, your loved one, even yourself—and anywhere. No church is immune from this reality.
Don't let your church be part of the problem. In this Safe Sanctuaries resource, Joy Thornburg Melton, an attorney and a former minister, offers valuable, practical advice to help churches reduce the possibilities for abuse and exploitation of elders.
Melton provides a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this excellent resource. She addresses such topics as:
- Types of abuse (neglect, physical, sexual, psychological/emotional, financial)
- Spiritual abuse and neglect (Dr. Richard Gentzler introduces these topics in the Foreword.)
- Indicators of elder abuse
- How churches are at risk
- How churches can safeguard against abuse and exploitation of older adults
- How congregations can care for the spiritual needs of nursing home residents, persons in assisted living facilities, or the homebound
- What individuals and churches can to do to prevent financial exploitation of older adults
- Best practices for beginning a ministry with and for older adults
- Basic procedures for safely operating ministries for older adults
- Planning how to respond to allegations of abuse
- Much more
Learn how your church can recognize and respond to issues of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of your oldest parishioners. Real care on the part of congregations includes knowledge, advocacy, and appropriate action.