Now is the Time to Pay Attention to Elder Abuse
“Efforts to address elder abuse are 40 years behind those of child abuse and 20 years behind those of domestic violence,” said Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging (ASA) and Administration for Community Living Administrator, in an interview on American University radio station WAMU 88.5 FM (Washington, DC). Greenlee added, “If we do not act now and apply the lessons we have learned from combating child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault to develop a comprehensive approach that brings together all of the different resources to prevent elder abuse, the problem will only deepen. Elder abuse is a problem that is only going to intensify as the population ages and the number of older persons increases.”
Administrator Greenlee and Bob Blancato, National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition, who also participated in the interview, made it clear that elder abuse is a crisis.
For more information, read Elderly Couple's Tale of Abuse Not So Uncommon, which tells the story of James and Etta Jennings of Richmond, VA who endured abuse at the hands of a loved one.
The site also includes audio of an extended interview with ASA Greenlee, who responds to questions on three obstacles to addressing elder abuse:
- Sometimes victims of elder abuse are dependent on their abusers and fear what will happen if they lose that support.
- Many victims of elder abuse have dementia and are not able to testify in court.
- The challenge of sharing data among the dozens of federal, state and local agencies involved in preventing elder abuse.
If you suspect elder abuse is occurring or has occurred call Bristol Elder Services, at (508) 675-2101 or the statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at (800) 922-2275 to file a report.
2013 WEAAD Conference
In recognition of the 8th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Bristol Elder Services, Inc. (Bristol) and the Southeastern Alliance for Elders (SAFE) will host a 2013 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Conference – STOP Elder Bullying. The conference will be held on Thursday, June 13th, at White’s of Westport, 66 State Road (Route 6), Westport, MA, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The registration fee is $40. An application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Registration is free for the first 30 elders who register, courtesy of the Office of Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter. To register, call (508) 675-2101 by June 6th. Elders needing transportation can request assistance when registering.
Bullying exists not just among the young. Many elders also experience this devastating assault on their dignity. They may be bullied by family members, caregivers meant to help them, or their peers. According to the AARP Bulletin (March 2012), “between 10 and 20 percent of residents in senior care homes are mistreated by peers ... nationwide that translates to hundreds of thousands of people who endure abuse. Many incidents of name-calling, bossy behavior, loud arguments and, at its most extreme, physical violence go unreported.” Keynote speaker, Jean Benson Bernstein, will draw on her extensive experience in elder residential services to address the issue.
The conference will also include a panel with representatives from the Office of Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter and South Coastal Counties Legal Services, who will address the civil and criminal aspects of elder bullying. Resource tables will be available.
SAFE is a coalition of community agencies, and its mission is to prevent and eliminate elder abuse. Bristol is the local resource for seniors who are abused, neglected, exploited, or self-neglecting. The agency is responsible for Protective Services in the twenty-three communities in greater Attleboro, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton.
May Is Older Americans Month
Every year since 1963, May has been the month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality of older adults and their contributions and achievements. This year’s Older Americans Month theme, Unleash the Power of Age, emphasizes the important role of older adults. Communities across the nation recognize older Americans as productive, active, and influential members of society. Here are some examples of great things that older individuals have achieved:
At age 60, playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw completed his play Heartbreak House, which is regarded as a masterpiece.
At age 70, Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence.
At age 80, Jessica Tandy became the oldest Oscar recipient for her work in Driving Miss Daisy.
At age 90, American composer Elliot Carter wrote his first opera. He published more than 40 works between the ages of 90 and 100.
At age 100, Alice Porlock published her first book, Portrait of My Victorian Youth.
Happy Older Americans Month
Fall River Library Celebrates
Older Americans Month
Bristol and the Main Branch of the Fall River Library are teaming up to celebrate Older Americans Month. Visit our display of handpicked books and program information for elders and their caregivers.
If you are unable to visit the library in person, many resources and services can be accessed from your home, office, or mobile device by using a valid SAILS network library card.
The library website contains information about borrowing books for Kindles, Nooks, and other e-reader devices. Downloadable books are accessible to the blind and visually impaired.
For more information, visit the library at www.sailsinc.org/fallriver/.
The Journey of Aging Conference May 21, 2013
Losing, Grieving, and Growing: The Challenges and Joys of Aging is being presented on May 21, 2013 at White's of Westport. For more information click here.