LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Show your support at Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15

June 15, 2021, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On that day, communities in the USA and all over the world will sponsor events to highlight solutions to this systemic social challenge. The Livingston County Elder Justice Coalition is proud to host a POP (Put on Purple) for Elder Abuse Awareness education and proclamation signing; proclaiming every June 15 to be Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Livingston County.

The event will be held on the lawn of the Howell Courthouse from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, and will include special speakers along with the proclamation signing.  Join us to show your support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day!

As Americans, we believe in justice for all. Yet we fail to live up to this promise when we allow older members of our society to be abused or neglected. Older people are vital, contributing members of American society and their maltreatment diminishes all of us. Just as we have confronted and addressed the social issues of child abuse and domestic violence, so too can we find solutions to address issues like elder abuse, which also threatens the well-being of our community.

Our policies and practices make it hard for older people to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect. We can design stronger societal supports to keep our older people connected and protect them from abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical or sexual. When we address a root cause, like social isolation, we also make it less likely that people will become neglected. Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go into nursing homes and less likely to die.

We can and must create healthier and safer living environments for older adults, including their homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

To learn more about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, how you can recognize it, what you can do to protect yourself or loved one, how to report suspected abuse and local community services and supports, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse https://ncea.acl.gov or call Beth Newman at Livingston County Catholic Charities at (517) 545-5944.

Livingston County Elder Justice Coalition

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