Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On June 15 the Queen Anne’s County Department of Community Services will join older adults in Maryland and those who care about them in celebrating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). WEAAD is a national and world wide call to action highlighting the too often ignored issue of Elder Abuse.

In the United States, there are over one million reports of elderly and vulnerable adult abuse which is only the tip of the iceberg with an estimated one in fourteen cases reported. Too often, seniors are abused, neglected and exploited by the people they trust the most. Abuse takes many forms, some involving intimidation or threats against the elderly, some involving neglect, and others involving financial trickery. The most common types of abuses are physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect by abandonment. Elder abuse can occur anywhere – in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions.

Citizens and businesses are invited to show the world you care about ending Elder Abuse and Neglect by wearing something purple on June 15. The day will be honored with a showing of “An Age For Justice: Confronting Elder Abuse in America” at noon at the Kramer Center, 104 Powell Street, Centreville. A round table discussion will follow. Light refreshments will be served. To register or for more information contact Kia Reed at 410-758-0848 ext. 2714.

Everyone is encouraged to report suspected mistreatment and to stay in contact with older friends, neighbors and relatives. Maintaining communication will help decrease isolation, a risk factor for mistreatment.

You do not need to prove that abuse is occurring; it is up to the professionals to investigate the suspicions. For more information about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, go to www.aging.maryland.gov and to http://www.inpea.net/weaad.html.