LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Resilience and Community Services (RCS) is joining with Age Friendly Louisville to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Monday, June 15.
This annual day of awareness calls attention to a growing population of elderly people and some of the abuses they face. Elder abuse takes different forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
Approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60-plus have experienced some form of elder abuse. As longevity increases, abuse of the elderly is an increasing and serious problem that affects health and human rights and can cause death. In addition, older people are often dependent on the care of their relatives who might be unable to cope with the challenges that often come with caring for an older adult. Many times, the older adult is seriously ill and not able to defend themselves. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day aims to encourage the public’s awareness so more people can identify and report elder abuse.
Louisville has a major business cluster of aging care and wellness operations with aspirations to make the city a global capital for this healthcare industry sector. Metro Resilience and Community Services invites all community members to observe and commemorate the day by wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon on June 15.
In addition, volunteers with the RCS’ Senior Nutrition Program will include bookmarks with information about elder abuse with Monday’s Meals on Wheels delivery to homebound seniors 60 years and older. Included on the bookmarks is Kentucky’s Elder Abuse Toll Free Hotline, 1-800-752-6200.
Age Friendly Louisville, through their Social Participation, Respect and Inclusion Workgroup has been working to raise awareness of elder abuse specifically by identifying and improving elder abuse trainings. This effort is being done in coordination with a wide variety of stakeholder and social service agencies.
“It can be hard to imagine that anyone would deliberately want to harm an elderly person, but unfortunately, elder abuse does occur” said Chris Clements, Louisville Metro Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) coordinator and facilitator for Age Friendly Louisville. “Some instances of elder abuse are intended to exploit the person, such as scams, and in other cases, neglect can be unintentional, as when sometimes an older adult’s caretaker does not provide them with basic necessities. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity to educate each other on the signs of elder abuse so that we can all be advocates against potential harm to older adults.”
“The Age Friendly Louisville leadership team continues to applaud the efforts each individual workgroup has put forth towards making our city a more safe and livable city for people of all ages, especially during these recent months, said Sarah Teeters, coordinator of the Office for Aging and Disabled Citizens, part of Louisville Metro Resilience and Community Services. “Seeing how dedicated community members have shifted how they work together to push forward positive outcomes is inspiring on many levels.”
Possible signs of elder abuse include:
- Physical abuse: Frequent injuries; multiple bruises in various stages of healing; individual appears frightened.
- Sexual abuse: Fearful of a particular person; upset when changed or bathed; irritation or injuries of the mouth, genitals or anus.
- Neglect: Obvious malnutrition, dehydration; dirty and offensive body odor; lack of glasses, dentures or hearing aid.
- Financial Exploitation: Unusual activity in bank account; lack of food, clothing and personal supplies; missing personal belongings such as jewelry, TV, art.
The Age-Friendly Louisville Social Participation, Respect and Inclusion Workgroup meets on the second Tuesday every month from 2 – 4 pm at various locations. However, due to COVID 19, meetings are being held virtually at this time. To learn more about elder abuse and other Age-Friendly Louisville initiatives, visit www.agefriendlylou.com
To learn more about Louisville Metro Resilience and Community Services visit www.louisvilleky.gov/RCS.