Every year some 2.1 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Researchers believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as five cases go unreported.
Elder abuse is often a silent crime. Most of us never see it because most victims are abused behind closed doors by their own family members. And, too often, people who do see it choose not to get involved because it’s “none of my business.”
“June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD); this is a global campaign to raise elder abuse awareness and to bring a stop to this hidden crime,” says Leslie Caudill, Chair of the Big Sandy Council on Elder Maltreatment. “Awareness is Knowledge and Knowledge is Prevention; if we can prevent elder abuse we will not have victims to protect.”
This past June 15th AARP joined the Big Sandy Council on Elder Maltreatment to raise public awareness of elder abuse and take action against elder neglect and exploitation.
Some 150 people turned out at the University of Kentucky Extension Office in Prestonsburg to hear from the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services Commissioner Teresa James, Operation Untie Coordinator Ashley Shepherd and the Pikeville City Police Department.
Eric Evans, AARP Kentucky Associate State Director of Advocacy, addressed the crowd about how AARP is educating seniors on the many ways to prevent fraud, including information about their 24 hour fraud hotline, and AARP’s mission to advocate for family caregivers.
"Abuse of older Kentuckians, whether it’s physical or financial, is reprehensible. That's why AARP is fighting to crack down on abuse and strengthen protections so all Americans can live with dignity and independence as they age,” says Eric Evans.