June 15 is World Elder Abuse Day, a day to bring awareness to the issue of elder abuse and other forms of harm to those over the age of 65. HCJFS staff wore purple today to mark the occasion.
Hamilton County has an Adult Protective Services unit that helps protect senior citizens from physical abuse, neglect by caregivers, self-neglect, exploitation and other forms of abuse or neglect. The unit operates the 421-LIFE elder abuse reporting hotline and helps more than 500 senior citizens a year.
More than half of the reports Job and Family Services handles concern self neglect. The APS unit works with families or guardians to arrange care of those who can’t care for themselves. The unit also helps line up services from the Council on Aging.
Elder abuse is a significant social issue, affecting one in 20 older adults. It is estimated that for every report of abuse, five or six cases go unreported.
To bring awareness to World Elder Abuse Day, many employees of Job and Family Services will wear purple on June 14.
If you suspect a senior citizen you know is the victim of abuse, neglect, exploitation or some other form of harm, please call 421-LIFE.