Aging commemorates World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2017
The Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging commemorates WEAAD (World Elder Abuse Awareness Day) on June 15, 2017. This year's theme is: One person. One action. One Nation. United against elder abuse.
Did you know that every day 10,000 people turn 65 in the US alone? That trend is going to continue for nearly the next 20 years. Our demographics are shifting, and we will soon have more senior citizens in the US than ever before. At the same time that the population is growing, we know that a startling number of elders face abusive conditions. Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of some type of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that's only part of the picture: experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of our older friends and neighbors. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD is in support of the UN's International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue.
The New York Senate this week passed a series of bills to improve the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of senior citizens across the state. The measures would help prevent elder abuse, promote prosperity for seniors in New York, and build upon significant victories the Senate secured in the 2017-18 budget for individuals over 65 and their families.
Senator Sue Serino (R-C-I, Hyde Park), Chair of the Aging Committee, said, "Our seniors play an invaluable role in the fabric of our society, and we have a responsibility to ensure that they have access to the resources they need to live their lives to the fullest, at home, in the communities they worked so hard to build. This week we took significant steps to ensure that our laws work effectively to empower our seniors, and to provide law enforcement with the tools they need to prevent exploitation and abuse. With this series of bills we are sending a clear message to
seniors across our state that their needs, and their safety, remain a top priority."
If you know an older adult that you suspect could be the victim of fraud, exploitation, or abuse, call us at the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging and NY Connects at 716-373-8032 or 800-462-2901. This call may be an anonymous or confidential call. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. For more information on the signs of possible elder abuse or neglect, go to https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/elder-abuse-and-neglect.htm