Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Contributed by: Nichole Parmelly Arapahoe County- Colorado

Elder abuse and the aging population is cause for concern
It's difficult to imagine who could abuse and neglect their grandfather or the frail senior who lives down the street, but it happens more frequently than you might expect.

"With our population aging, there will be more people to victimize and greater opportunities to abuse, neglect and financially exploit our elderly citizens," said Angela Lytle, Children, Youth and Family Services Manager for Arapahoe County. "If our community understands the seriousness of this issue, we will be able to better protect our senior population. That is just one of the reasons why Governor Bill Ritter proclaimed June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day."

For many, abuse, exploitation or neglect is caused by a caregiver or a member of their own family. Often the victim is totally dependent upon the abuser and is afraid to complain for fear of reprisal. It has been estimated that as many as 10 percent of older adults are victimized by abuse. However, only one in eight abuse incidents is actually reported.

Arapahoe County's Human Services staff continues to work diligently because they know the positive impact they have on those in dire need. It is especially rewarding when those who are helped give a giant hug and gracious thanks in return.

For more information on elder abuse and prevention, go to or or call 303-636-1750 to report a suspected case of abuse or neglect. The Arapahoe County Department of Human Services may be able to help.

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