Elder Abuse Awareness recognized in JuneBy Emily Reed Published 1:08pm Monday, June 16, 2014
Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin recognized the month of June as Elder Abuse Awareness month by signing a proclamation in his office on Monday.
Representatives from Southern Care Hospice, Alacare and Chilton County Department of Human Resources (DHR), who all work with the elderly, took part in the proclamation signing.
Thousands of elderly citizens are abused, neglected and exploited in Alabama each year. To help raise awareness, communities and professionals across the nation and across the world unite annually in June to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness.
Individuals are asked to wear purple during the month of June as purple is the color nationally recognized to represent elder abuse awareness.
Gov. Robert Bentley proclaimed June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
“Because the elderly are often dependent on others for their care and may become isolated, they are primary targets for abuse, neglect and exploitation,” Marilyn Colson, Chilton County Director of DHR said in a release. “Sadly, victims are most often abused, neglected and exploited by individuals who are known and trusted by the elderly person. No matter how difficult the challenge, with the help of our community partners, Mr. Tim Bryant, our Adult Protective Services worker, investigates, reports and arranges protection. Tim is strongly committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the elderly in Chilton County.”
The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) is responsible for the investigation of adult abuse, neglect and exploitation.
DHR also partners with more than 30 agencies as members of the Alabama Council for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, which works to raise awareness of older abuse prevention.
The council worked to secure passage of the Protecting Alabama’s Elders Act in 2013.
This law is related to creating the crimes of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of persons age 60 and older.
In fiscal year 2013, the Alabama Department of Human Resources investigated more than 6,000 reports of suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults statewide, which included elderly people.
In Chilton County during fiscal year 2013, there were more than 130 reports and adult service cases.
If individuals suspect mistreatment of an elderly person or an adult person who has disabilities, they are asked to call Chilton County DHR at (205) 280-2000.
Reports may also be made toll free to the Adult Abuse Hotline at 1-800-458-7214 or by e-mail to aps2dhr.alabama.gov.
All reports are confidential and may be made anonymously.