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Bucks County Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 14, 2018

Crimes Against Older Americans Task Force Urges Community Involvement 

June 15, 2018 – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Logo for World Elder Abuse Awareness DayThe International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders, and reaffirm the country’s commitment to the principle of justice for all.

Bucks County developed the Crimes Against Older Adults (CAOA) Task Force, a collaboration including the Bucks County departments of the Area Agency on Aging, District Attorney’s Office, Register of Wills, Consumer Protection and organizations such as the Network of Victim Assistance, law enforcement departments, banking professionals, and home health agencies. The task force endeavors to more effectively raise awareness about, and prosecute cases of, elder abuse in our community.

Elder abuse is widespread. Every year an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, in part because so many communities across the country lack the social supports that would make it easier for those who experience abuse to report it. Research suggests that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities.

In addition to being a clear violation of the American commitment to justice for all, elder abuse is an issue with many consequences for society. Elder abuse can affect people of all ethnic backgrounds and social status, and does not discriminate between men and women. Its effects on communities range from public health to economic issues.

When communities come together, elder abuse can be prevented. Communities can put support services in place, and direct resources toward addressing elder abuse. The Bucks County CAOA Task Force urges the country to reaffirm its commitment to justice and create a sturdy structure of support that will benefit older Americans for years to come.

The Bucks County CAOA Task Force is asking for the community’s help. If you see or suspect abuse, please call 1-800-490-8505 to report your concerns.  Together, abuse against the elderly can be stopped.

For more information, please  go to www.buckscounty.org/ElderAbuse