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Elder Abuse Awareness Day

| June 14, 2011, 06:02 PM | 0 Comments

On June 15, 2011, older adults in Maryland and those who care about them will participate in a national and world-wide day highlighting the too often ignored issue of elder abuse. The theme this year is “My World. Your World. Our World – Free of Elder Abuse.” This day is a public “call to action” with special events held in various parts of the state. Those concerned about neglect and abuse will wear purple to show their concern that abuse be reported, addressed, and prevented.

On June 15 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Heritage Building Complex courtyard, 2660-2666 Riva Road, Annapolis, there will be information on resources available from the offices of Adult Protective Services, SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together), SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program), Ombudsman, and PEACE (Protect Elders Against Crime and Exploitation) which is a coalition of professionals from three counties. The public is welcome to attend, talk with staff members and receive materials.

Concerns about those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be reported to the Long Term Care Ombudsman at 410-222-4464. The Ombudsman is an advocate for those who live in long term care facilities, promoting residents’ rights and quality care.

In the United States, there are over one million reports of elderly and vulnerable adult abuse which is considered the tip of the iceberg with only one in 14 cases reported. Too often, seniors are abused, neglected, and exploited by the people they trust the most. Abuse takes many forms, some involving intimidation of threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and other involving financial trickery. The most common types of abuse are physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect by abandonment.

The State of Maryland, through its various state agencies, addressed more than 8,000 reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation last year. Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions. It affects seniors across all socio-economic groups, cultures, and races. In Anne Arundel County, those who suspect abuse of elders who live in the community should call 410-222-4464.

Everyone is encouraged to report suspected mistreated and to stay in contact with older friends, neighbors, and relatives. Maintaining communication will help to decrease isolation, a risk factor for mistreatment. There are many services available in Anne Arundel County to provide support that can help elders maintain their health and well-being, a good defense against abuse.

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Category: Events, LIFE IN THE AREA, NEWS, OPINION, Seniors

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