June 3, 2014 

Contact: Barry Spear (334) 242-1850
Todd Russell (334) 353-9394

June 3, 2014

Kickoff to help prevent elder abuse to be held at State Capitol

MONTGOMERY – Members of the Alabama Interagency Council for the Prevention of Elder Abuse are holding a kickoff, Thursday June 5th, to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Month and raise awareness of the importance of stopping elder abuse. The kickoff will take place at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery.

“This kickoff is designed to offer support in recognizing the significance of the growing crisis we call elder abuse,” stated Department of Senior Services Commissioner Neal Morrison. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Robert Bentley, we have made major strides towards solving this crisis through reporting of abuse, prosecuting those abusers and educating the public on the issue. Working together, all of us can play a major role in preventing future tragedies that harm our seniors.”

In Fiscal Year 2013, the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) received over 6000 reports and preventions of adult abuse, neglect or exploitation. This represents a 10% increase over the previous year. DHR also provides protective services to over 1500 vulnerable adults each month and works together with law enforcement officials regularly to help keep this population safe.

“Elderly and vulnerable adults are being abused neglected or financially exploited across our state,” said DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “It’s important that anyone who suspects this is happening to someone they know report it to their county DHR office or local law enforcement.”

Elder Abuse Protection Toolkits will be made available at the kickoff for seniors and caregivers to help them learn how to prevent becoming a victim of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Elder abuse Awareness events that will be held across the state will also be announced at the kickoff.

Governor Robert Bentley declared June 15th as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to help create awareness of elder abuse that often goes undiscovered and unreported.  No one is immune to abuse, neglect and exploitation as it occurs in every socioeconomic group. It can happen to anyone including a family member, friend, neighbor, and even you.  Please help prevent this horrible abuse by calling your county DHR office, state DHR office (334) 242-1350, or the toll-free adult abuse reporting number at 1-800-458-7214.