June is elder abuse awareness month

Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Month and Probate Judge Bobby Martin signed a proclamation declaring June elder abuse awareness month in Chilton County.

Investigating reports of elder abuse or neglect of vulnerable elderly adults is one of the things the Department of Human Resources focuses on.

“Older or vulnerable Chilton County citizens may be targets for abuse neglect and exploitation, which can occur in families and communities of all social economic racial and ethnic backgrounds,” the proclamation states.

Marilyn Colson, Chilton County DHR director, said this is “a growing area of concern.”

“The Chilton County Department of Human Resources is encouraging the Chilton County community to remember the vulnerable, elderly and disabled in our community in the state need to be protected from abuse and neglect and exploitation,” according to a press release.

To raise awareness on the issue, Colson spoke about the awareness month at the June Chilton County Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Colson said it is important that elder abuse or neglect be reported.

“When you see situations where the elderly are not being taken care of and that is not their choice … please report that,” Colson said.

Suspected abuse of an elderly or disabled adult can be reported to Chilton County DHR at (205) 280-2000 or 1-800-458-7214 or via email to aps@dhr.alabama.gov.

In 2017, Chilton County DHR received 100 referrals related to elder abuse neglect or exploitation.

Chilton County DHR partners with Probate Court, local attorneys, the District Attorney’s Office, Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Senior Connection, local law enforcement, physicians, hospitals and home health agencies to meet the needs of vulnerable older adults.