Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We Must Break Silence, Report Abuse of Elderly

Illinois ..Please read this letter. It describes the fearsome existence that many of our elderly neighbors endure every day. They are the victims of financial exploitation, neglect and physical or emotional abuse.

These frightened elders, from all walks of life, all races and ethnic groups, live in your neighborhood. But they cannot help themselves. They are afraid to speak out because the abuser is often a member of their own family or a caregiver upon whom they depend.

They fear retribution, lack of care, embarrassment and institutionalization.

This is not a pleasant topic. Elder abuse is a scar on our vision of a compassionate society. But, please, do not stop reading.There is something you can do; something you must do.Illinois law protects and supports victims, and it gets tough with those who act criminally.

So if you suspect elder abuse, please report your suspicions, anonymously or not, to the Statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-866-800-1409 (Voice) or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).

The tragedy of elder abuse is a reflection upon all of us and the values that define us. Our elders have given to us; now it is our turn to look out for them.If you suspect that you know someone who is experiencing any form of elder abuse, please - break the silence - report it now, before it is too late.

Karen Zangerle

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