Petition 80576

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Abuse of Older Adults (80576-DI-R155)

Revise and readopt Resolution No. 155 Abuse of Older Adults in the United States  
Abuse of others is never acceptable behavior and needs to be strongly challenged by the church. Many times those who are most vulnerable in society are the ones who are abused. Our Christian teachings implore us to reject violence in all forms in order to bring the peaceable kingdom on earth. The esteem given to older adults is seen clearly in 1Timothy 5:2 “Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity.” And, in Proverbs 23:22 we read “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” As seen through these scriptures and, through the ministry of Jesus, we know that we must not hesitate to call to justice those who victimize others. However, we also know that we must be compassionate to the abuser by seeking ways to bring redemption and reconciliation.
WHEREAS, In the United States 1.5 to 2 million older adults are maltreated annually in the U.S.; , and WHEREAS, only one in every eight of these cases is reported.  1 <> ; and WHEREAS, the older adult population will double by the year 2030; By 2032 there will be almost twice as many older adults in the U.S. – rising from 38 million today to 72 million.  2 <> and
1 National Measures Clearinghouse, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  
2 U.S. Social Security Administration  

Elder abuse and neglect take many forms, such as beatings, sexual abuse,  
improper use of restraints, improper use of medications, verbal abuse, isolation abuse,  
stealing possessions, misuse or waste of assets, and a failure to provide food/fluids,  
medication, medical care, shelter and clothing.  
Therefore, be it resolved, that we call on The United Methodist Church to break the silence and to address this social ill through education and awareness, information, counseling and referral services, support systems, and reports to the proper authorities when abuse is suspected. Therefore, be it further resolved, that t The Older Adult Committee of the General Board of Discipleship and the appropriate general agencies will provide resources and materials to address the issue.
   ADOPTED 2000
See Social Principles, ΒΆ 162E.