ATLANTA – On June 15th, millions will observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by learning about abuse, educating the community, and reporting concerns about suspected mistreatment. The Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services encourages Georgians to do their part by pledging to prevent elder abuse and by wearing purple to raise awareness.
“Signs of abuse, neglect, or exploitation aren’t always as obvious as a bruise or a fracture,” said Dr. James Bulot, Director of the Division of Aging Services. “Threatening someone with nursing home placement or failing to treat a serious medical condition could also signal mistreatment.” Other key indicators are listed at http://www.aging.ga.gov under the tab, “Report Elder Abuse.”
State lawmakers took action against elder abuse earlier this year by passing House Bill 78, legislation that increases protections for elder persons and adults with disabilities. The bill expands Georgia’s list of people who are legally required to report suspected mistreatment and provides a more comprehensive definition of the forms of abuse.
To describe the complexity of the problem and ways to address it, the Division produced “Elder Abuse: Hiding in Plain Sight” in collaboration with Georgia Public Broadcasting. The hour-long special explores the impact of abuse on vulnerable adults and explains what Georgians are doing to eliminate dangers. The program is viewable online at http://www.gpb.org/elder-abuse.
Georgia’s statewide Adult Protective Services team accepts reports of suspicious activity by phone, by fax, and online. To report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an older person or an adult with a disability in community or residential settings, the public should call DHS Adult Protective Services Central Intake, toll-free, at 866-552-4464. In any emergency, the public should call 911.
Georgians can join the cause against abuse, neglect, and exploitation on June 15 and throughout the year. To report concerns, request a brochure, schedule a presentation, or volunteer, the public may contact the Division of Aging Services at 866-552-4464 or visit http://www.aging.ga.gov.