Baltimore County News
Empower yourself with tools to help keep older adults safe
Elder abuse is a serious, but often hidden, problem in our communities. One in eleven older adults in the U.S. is victim of physical, sexual or financial abuse, or neglectful care. But you can help to keep seniors safe by educating yourself and empowering the seniors in your life!
On June 15, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Baltimore County Department of Aging will mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) with a forum at the Sollers Point Multipurpose Center, located at 320 Sollers Point Road in Dundalk. Participants will learn how to identify elder abuse and connect seniors to help and support. The forum is open to the public and includes a continental breakfast and free gift.
After the forum, the County will host a free shred-a-thon in the Center’s parking lot from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The public is welcome to bring one box or bag of documents to be shredded to protect personal information from identity theft. The forum is hosted by Baltimore County Restoring Elder Safety Today and sponsored by AARP. It is free and no registration is required. For the shred-a-thon, register at aarp.cvent.com/WEAADShred16 or call 877-926-8300.
For more information about WEAAD, contact 410-887-4200.
Joanne Williams, Baltimore County Director of Aging
· According to the best available estimates, between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.
· Data on elder abuse in domestic settings suggest that only 1 in 14 incidents, excluding incidents of self-neglect, come to the attention of authorities.
· Current estimates put the overall reporting of financial exploitation at only 1 in 25 cases, suggesting that there may be at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year.
· It is estimated that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect reported to authorities, about five more go unreported.
These facts from the National Center on Elder Abuse are quite startling. Many of us think it could not happen to us or someone we love. But elder abuse happens all too frequently, in private homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Often the abusers are family members or trusted caregivers. Studies show that one in ten older adults experience abuse; the number is higher for financial exploitation. Many seniors are reluctant to report abuse due to fear of retaliation, inability to report, or desire to protect the abuser.
Public Forum to Make a Difference and Raise Awareness
In observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), Baltimore County Restoring Elder Safety Today (BC-REST), our area’s elder abuse prevention coalition, is hosting a public forum to educate concerned citizens, professionals and older adults about elder abuse. Learn how we all can make a difference in keeping seniors safe! Featured speakers include experts from AARP and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) who will discuss their roles in fighting elder abuse and how older adults can protect themselves. The CFBP’s motto is “An informed consumer is the first line of defense against abusive practices.”
All are invited to attend this free forum at the Owings Mills Library on June 13 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon. Hear from the experts, visit exhibitors, enjoy refreshments and network with local aging professionals. No registration is required. Social workers can earn two Category II CEU’s for attending.
Come and make a difference in stamping out elder abuse!
For more details, please contact the Baltimore County Department of Aging at 410-887-4200 or go online to http://www.bcpl.info/stopelderabuse.
Revised April 6, 2016