ATLANTA — The annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15.
On this day states, countries and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) will be recognizing and raising awareness of disabled adults and persons 65 and older who suffer due to abuse, neglect or exploitation. People worldwide will be wearing purple to show that elder abuse is a global problem.
The Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Aging Services is urging Georgians to wear purple to help promote the international observance.
“This day has been set aside to recognize the abuse of our very vulnerable at-risk adult population,” said Maria Greene, director of the Division of Aging Services. “We urge everyone to wear purple to promote awareness of elder abuse as a global problem.”
Elder abuse is a crime in Georgia. Georgia law defines elder abuse as the willful infliction of physical pain, physical injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement or willful deprivation of essential services. Abuse takes many forms including physical, emotional, sexual, financial exploitation, neglect and self-neglect. Any older person can be abused regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity and geographic location.
To help stamp out elder abuse, call Adult Protective Services (APS) if you believe that a disabled adult or an older person is being abused, neglected or exploited. If the person lives in his or her own home or with a relative, call APS to make a report toll-free at 1-888-774-0152. In instances where harm or threat of harm is imminent, call 911 as a first response.
If the person lives in a nursing home or personal care home, contact the Office of Regulatory Services toll-free at 1-800-878-6442. You may also contact the State Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, an advocate for residents’ rights, at 1-888-454-LTCO (5826).
To learn more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, visit www.inpea.net.