June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day that reminds us how important it is to protect seniors in our communities.
Each year, millions of elderly adults are abused, neglected, or are financially exploited. Often they are taken advantage of by those they trust and rely upon for assistance. According to the Administration on Aging, elders throughout the country lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually as a result of financial abuse and exploitation. Countries across the world observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to bring awareness to this epidemic.
It is critical, especially for public servants, that we do our part to protect seniors and other vulnerable persons who are at risk of financial exploitation. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I ask that you take time to learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect so that you will recognize them in the future. This will go a long way toward not only preventing abuse of those we serve, but also possibly preventing your loved ones from becoming victims. Over the years, I have learned of heartbreaking cases of seniors who have lost their life’s savings as a result of deceptive scams and unscrupulous individuals. We must work diligently to prevent such unthinkable acts.
On June 16, the second World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Global Summit will be held. It is a day of collaboration with national policy makers, advocates, financial services institutions, media, social services organizations and members of the public. I will share the many steps we have taken to raise awareness and to prevent the incidence of financial exploitation.
There is so much to learn about this issue. I encourage you to visit the Administration for Community Living and www.ncea.aoa.gov for more information. As we increase our awareness, each of us can become more proactive in our efforts to protect elderly adults in our communities and families.