On June 23rd OCES joined with The Plymouth Center for Active Living (formerly known as Council on Aging/COA) to hold the first annual March to End Elder Abuse in historic Plymouth. More than 60 people, including senior citizens, health workers, civic leaders and others, marched along the waterfront. Many held handmade signs, and chanted such phrases as “No excuse for elder abuse!”
Throughout Massachusetts, during fiscal year 2015, 24,978 elder abuse reports were filed and 7,117 new allegations of elder abuse were confirmed according to the state’s adult protective services program. That represents an increase of 37% in the total number of elder abuse reports and a 57% jump in confirmed allegations compared to fiscal year 2011.
“Speak up,” Theresa Kourtz, OCES’ Protective Services Director said. “If you know something, or something doesn’t seem right, we ask you to consult and file a report with protective services.”
“Elder abuse can happen in any home, in any socioeconomic situation. It is under-reported,” said Ms. Kourtz. She emphasized that witnesses to elder abuse, or those who see symptoms of elder abuse, should report it to a protective services program or by calling the state’s Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275. The reporter’s
After the march, the walkers assembled at the Center for Active Living where there were guest speakers, awards and lunch. The following individuals who have assisted seniors in protective services, and in the town of Plymouth, received recognition awards: Liisa Budge-Johnson, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department Outreach Coordinator; Attorney Mary Kate Connelly; Ken Beuchs; Steve Lydon; and Plymouth Police Captain Bruce McNamee.
OCES would like to thank the Boys & Girls Club, who helped make the signs; staff from the Center for Active Living; Plymouth Networking Group; transportation by Stafford Assisted Living, Brookdale Assisted Living and GATRA; guest speakers; State Representative Matt Muratore; Conni DiLego, Center for Active Living Director. A Certificate of Congressional recognition to OCES was received from U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch’s office.