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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15: Alabama’s Response to Elder Abuse

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 on June 15 to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. One simple thing everyone can do on June 15 to raise awareness of elder abuse is wear purple. Purple is the color nationally recognized to represent elder abuse awareness.

Governor Robert Bentley has proclaimed June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This is a day to set aside to promote “There is no excuse for abuse” and to let older people in our communities know they have rights, including a right to be safe, and to be treated with dignity and respect. Because the Elderly are often dependent on others for their care and may become isolated, they are primary targets for abuse, neglect, and exploitation,” said Marengo County Department of Human Resources Director Carol Dixon, “Sadly, victims are most often abused, neglected and exploited by individuals who are known and trusted by the elderly person.” “Our community partners can help by reporting suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation and by assisting DHR in arranging services to protect those individuals who cannot protect themselves. Our community partners are essential to assisting DHR in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the elderly, “Dixon said.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) is responsible for the investigation of adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation. DHR also partners with over 30 agencies as members of the Alabama Council for the Prevention of Elder Abuse which works to raise awareness of elder abuse prevention.
In FY 2015, the Alabama Department of Human Resources investigated over 8,000 reports of suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults statewide, which included elderly persons.
Elder abuse is gravely under-reported. Please help us protect our vulnerable citizens who have contributed so much to our community. If you suspect mistreatment of an elderly person or an adult person who has disabilities, please call Marengo County DHR at 334-295-2000. You can make a real difference in the life of a vulnerable adult by recognizing signs of maltreatment and taking action by reporting abuse.

Reports may also be made toll free to the Adult Abuse Hotline 1-800-458-7214 or by email to aps@dhr.alabama.gov. All reports are confidential and may be made anonymously.