In an effort to raise awareness of elder abuse,
Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), the non-profit agency proudly serving older adults and individuals with disabilities throughout greater Plymouth County, held “March Against Elder Abuse” events in Brockton and Plymouth.
June 15th was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. In recognition of the day, more than 150 community supporters, including civic leaders and health workers, joined OCES and the Brockton Council on Aging (COA) and Plymouth Center for Active Living in March Against Elder Abuse events.
OCES, the Brockton COA and participants walked in the March Against Elder Abuse along Main Street on June 13, 2019. The March began at the Brockton COA and looped around the COA and back. This March was in honor of Pat Foley, a longtime employee of OCES, volunteer and advocate who passed away this past December. After the march, participants gathered at the Brockton COA for a luncheon. Guest speakers Teresa Kourtz, Director of Protective Services at OCES, and Janice Fitzgerald, Director of Brockton COA presented the “Pat Foley Advocacy Award” to Pat Foley’s family which was accepted by Bob Foley. Tobias T. Cowans, representing Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, gave the proclamation for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Sherriff McDonald, spoke on behalf of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department to bring attention to the local concerns regarding elder abuse and to express his gratitude to all who play a role in protecting our elders. Community activists Senator Michael Brady, Representative Gerry Cassidy, and Representative Michelle DuBois, who have supported efforts around this issue, were recognized.
Sponsors of the Brockton March included Baypointe, HarborOne, Harbor Health Elder Service Plan, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, Plymouth County District Attorney, Westside Pizza and the Brockton Council on Aging.
OCES, the Center for Active Living and participants walked in the March Against Elder Abuse along the Plymouth waterfront on June 20, 2019. Participants were transported to Pilgrim Memorial State Park to walk, then transported back to the Center for Active Living for a lunch and a special ceremony. Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz spoke at the ceremony about elder abuse. Community activists Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri and DA Timothy Cruz who have supported efforts around this issue were recognized.
Sponsors of the Plymouth March included Baypointe, HarborOne, Harbor Health Elder Service Plan, Friends of the Plymouth Council on Aging, A&A Metro Transportation, NaviCare, Bills Pizza, Gatra, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, Plymouth County District Attorney and the Plymouth Center for Active Living.
“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity to increase awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults,” said Teresa Kourtz, Director of Protective Services at OCES. “Let’s all work together to make a difference.”
Recognizing Elder Abuse
The Executive Office of Elder Affairs received 34,216 reports state-wide in fiscal year 2018. Elder abuse includes financial exploitation, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect. Common risk factors are social isolation, poor physical health and dementia.
OCES Protective Services Program staff works with older adults or their designees to prevent, eliminate or remedy situations involving emotional, physical or sexual abuse, neglect by a caregiver, financial exploitation and/or self–neglect. When there is a report made to the Elder Abuse Hotline (1-800-922-2275), and the elder resides in our catchment area, OCES will receive the report and determine if further investigation is necessary by a Protective Services Worker.
If you need help or information, call OCES Protective Services at 508-584-1561.
To learn more about WEAAD, visit https://eldermistreatment.usc.edu/weaad-home/