On June 15th, Georgians can step up to make the state a safer place by observing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services encourages individuals and community groups to learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect, tell others that the issue is critically important, and reach out to elders who may be at risk.
“Wear purple on June 15th to show your commitment to preventing elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, but don’t stop there. Take action year round,” said Dr. James Bulot, Director of DHS Division of Aging Services.
Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, or financial in nature. Potential signs of abuse include unpaid bills, discussion of a “new friend,” unexplained bruises or other injuries, or a change in personality or demeanor. Abuse can take place in any household or setting, even among family members and close friends.
The National Center for Elder Abuse, located at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov, offers consumer information, along with community education resources for faith-based organizations, coalitions, and other groups. Click “Take a Stand” on the NCEA website for fact sheets, project ideas, and other awareness-building tools.
To report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an older person or a disabled adult in community or residential settings, the public should call DHS Adult Protective Services Central Intake, toll-free, at 888-552-AGING (888-552-4464). In any emergency, the public should call 911.
To request a brochure or to schedule a presentation on elder abuse, call the DHS Division of Aging Services at 888-552-AGING or visit http://www.aging.ga.gov.