Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention Essay of the Year

In the Bangor Daily News: Why elder abuse matters to all of us
Logan Blanchette is a student at Mount Desert Island High School. Each year, the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention and the GFWC Maine Federation of Women's Clubs jointly sponsor a statewide scholarship contest focused on raising awareness of elder abuse in Maine.  Blanchette, the winner of the statewide contest, received a $1,000 scholarship.
Elder abuse is a serious issue that affects many senior citizens in our society. It can range from physical, emotional and financial abuse to more subtle acts of neglect or abandonment. It includes any action taken against older adults that causes them harm or puts them at risk.
As awareness around elder abuse increases, its importance to our society becomes more evident. It affects the older adult being abused and their family, friends and community. Elder abuse can lead to physical and emotional trauma, financial exploitation and neglect of basic needs like food, shelter and medical care.

At a personal level, elder abuse matters to me because it reflects how we, as a society, treat our elderly. We should be taking care of and protecting our seniors, not exploiting them or ignoring their needs.
Elder abuse is wrong, and we must do our part to stop it. I believe more people need to join the fight against this abuse. We should advocate for stronger laws to protect our elderly and raise awareness. In addition, students can make a difference by satisfying their community service requirements by volunteering at senior centers or getting involved in awareness campaigns. Without raising awareness, we cannot hope to end elder abuse. Here are three ways to do it:
Share awareness materials: Information is power, and many local, regional and national groups have created resources that explain what constitutes elder abuse and neglect, as well as how to identify and report it. We can share these materials with our community, family members and friends to inform everyone about the critical issue of elder abuse.
Take action: People committed to making changes can talk to lawmakers and advocate for laws that protect seniors from neglect and abuse. A big step would be to reach out to local organizations dedicated to helping elders in need and find out what can be done to help in this area.
Educate people online: Use social media to talk about the issue with your family, friends, co-workers and anyone else who will listen. We can let people know how to spot older adults being abused because there are things to watch out for. Social media is also a good place to find out about awareness events or raise funds to support organizations trying to help.
By implementing these strategies, we can work together to raise awareness of elder abuse on social media. This will help prevent elder abuse and neglect and ultimately provide a better quality of life for older Mainers.

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