On June 21, 2018 over 75 people joined the Plymouth Center for Active Living (CAL) and OCES to march along the waterfront and raise awareness of elder abuse.
Joining the CAL and OCES in the effort were Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz and sponsors The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, Bill’s Pizza, Shaws, and the Plymouth Police Relief Association. GATRA generously provided minibus transportation from the CAL to the waterfront.
After the march, participants gathered at the Plymouth CAL where Jennifer Young, Director of Elder Affairs for the Town of Plymouth, and Teresa Kourtz, Director of Protective Services at OCES shared information on how to assist elders in need and answered questions. Awards were presented to Officer Aaron Volkvinger of the Plymouth Police Department, activists in the community who have supported efforts around this issue. Also acknowledged for their work were David Parker, Esq. and Dr. Deborah Kylander.
June is designated as Elder Abuse Awareness Month by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.
Last year, OCES’ Protective Services Department received close to 2,000 reports of suspected elder abuse and financial exploitation. Types of abuse include physical, verbal, sexual and financial. When there is a referral made to OCES by Centralized Intake at the Elder Abuse Hotline, a Protective Services Worker investigates the report, provides support, and if needed, information about resources such as medical, legal, psychological, financial and housing assistance.
If you know, or suspect, that an elder is being mistreated or neglected, call the Massachusetts Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-922-2275. Teresa Kourtz of OCES advises: “Help us shine a light on elder abuse. If you see something, say something.”
To see more photographs of the event, visit our Facebook page at OCES_MA.