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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

by Denise Rucker-Burton , Program Administrator, DSAS Community Office on Aging

Elderly HandsWhile people often think of children and victims of domestic abuse first when they think about abuse, neglect and exploitation, these problems also effect older adults and adults with disabilities. As the elder population grows, so does the issue of elder abuse. Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims 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.

In Cuyahoga County, the Division of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS) investigated over 1900 cases of elder abuse, out of nearly 3600 allegations in 2017. Of these investigations, 48% were due to self-neglect; 24% were due to neglect; 16% were due to exploitation; 11% were due to physical abuse.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is Friday, June 15, 2018. The theme for this year is: “Building Strong Support for Elders”.

graphic of blue person and purple person with the world betweenAt the County, we have decided not only to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, but for the past four years, we have recognized and raised awareness of this crisis throughout the entire month of June. The Division of Senior and Adult Services kicked off Elder Abuse Awareness Month yesterday with a Community Forum, titled: “A Community Committed to Making a Difference”. Presentations and discussions were led by Natasha Pietrocola, Deputy Director, of DSAS and David Bass, PhD. Of Benjamin Rose Institute. Greetings and remarks were provided by Beverly Charles, from The Honorable Marcia Fudge’s Office and Nicholas Turner, from the Honorable Marcy Kaptur’s Office. Ms. Pauline Rice, Adult Protective Services Social Worker was recognized as APS Worker of the Year.

Join us this month as we continue to “build strong support for elders” and implement stronger strategies to thrive together as a community. To report a suspected case of elder abuse, please call the DSAS Centralized Intake Line at 216-420-6700 or access our on-line portal at: https://dsas.cuyahogacounty.us/adultscreening/.