PLOWS Council on Aging is commemorating WEAAD with a host of June activities for older adults and caregivers in the Palos, Lemont, Orland and Worth Townships. Please visit Upcoming Events for a full list of our activities. Learn more about Adult Protective Services at PLOWS Council on Aging by viewing this Channel 4 (Palos Heights, IL) TV segment.
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for our communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders, and reaffirm our country’s commitment to the principle of justice for all.
Elder abuse is widespread. Every year an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, in part because so many of our communities lack the social supports that would make it easier for those who experience abuse to report it. Research suggests that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities.
In addition to being a clear violation of the American commitment to justice for all, elder abuse is an issue with many consequences for our society. Its effects on our communities range from public health to economic issues. The good news is that we can prevent and address the issue of elder abuse. There are many ways to strengthen our social supports through policies, services, and programs that keep us integrated in our communities as we age.
• We can design and equip community centers to work as intergenerational spaces that allow older adults to build relationships and participate in neighborhood work and life.
• We can think about the role of transportation in reducing social isolation and adjust systems so that we can all continue to move throughout our communities as we age.
• We can figure out new and better ways to arrange and coordinate the teams, agencies, and programs that work specifically with older people.
• We can develop programs to educate families and professionals who work with older adults to understand the importance of preventing isolation, how to spot the warning signs of abuse, and what to do to address abuse or neglect.
Abuse of an older adult can include: physical, sexual or emotional abuse; confinement; passive neglect; willful deprivation; or financial exploitation. To address these sensitive, and sometimes life-threatening, situations, PLOWS Council on Aging has trained professionals in Adult Protective Services to investigate these type of abuses through the Illinois Department on Aging. If you suspect that an older adult or an adult 18-59 years of age with a disability is a victim of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in the Palos, Lemont, Orland or Worth Township area, please immediately make a report to PLOWS Council on Aging at 708-361-0219 or through the state hotline at 1-866-800-1409. Your identity will remain anonymous and your information confidential.