For World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), the community of Plymouth rallied and marched to bring attention to Elder Abuse. On Thursday, June 16, 2022, Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, the Plymouth Center for Active Living (CAL), Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth Police Department, and over 80 community supporters marched along the waterfront to raise awareness about elder abuse and neglect. Many wore purple “End Elder Abuse” t-shirts and carried handmade signs.
“It was amazing to see a sea of purple t-shirts lining the sidewalks of Plymouth,” said Teresa Kourtz, LSW, MSG, OCES’ Protective Services Director. “Events for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) bring our communities together to help raise awareness by shining a light on the hidden problem of elder abuse. OCES encourages anyone who suspects abuse to report it to the Centralized Intake Unit (Elder Abuse Hotline) at 1-800-922-2275. Be proactive and be a part of the solution to help end elder abuse.”
OCES and the Plymouth CAL were thrilled to have such a large crowd of supporters as they marched. A special thank you to our event sponsors, Heart to Home Meals, Office of District Attorney of Plymouth County, , Friendly Care, Inc, Harbor One Bank, Bluestone Bank, Anodyne, Moose Club Of Plymouth, and One Stop Painting.
Recognizing Elder Abuse
Elder abuse includes physical, emotional, neglect, self-neglect, financial exploitation and sexual abuse. During 2021 in Massachusetts, 35,202 reports of elder abuse were made. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, an estimated five million older adults are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation every year. One in 10 Americans age 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Common risk factors for elder abuse are social isolation, poor physical health and dementia. Nationally, at least $36.5 billion annually is lost by victims of financial abuse according to the National Council on Aging.
OCES Protective Services Program staff works with older adults or their designees to prevent, eliminate or remedy situations involving elder abuse. When a report is made to the Centralized Intake Unit (Elder Abuse Hotline) and the elder resides in our catchment area, OCES will receive the report and determine if further investigation by a Protective Services Worker is necessary.
If you have concerns, contact your local Protective Services Agency. If you want to file a report on elder abuse, contact the Centralized Intake Unit (Elder Abuse Hotline) at 1-800-922-2275.
WEAAD was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations in 2006. To learn more about WEAAD, visit https://eldermistreatment.usc.edu/weaad-home/