MEDIA CONTACTDivision of Children and Family Services PIO Garret Swanson, (402) 480-0883, Garret.Swanson@Nebraska.Gov
Call Hotline at 800-652-1999 if Elder Abuse is Suspected
Facebook Live Set for Awareness Day
Lincoln, Neb. – Tomorrow, June 15, commemorates World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), a day for people and organizations to get informed and take action to protect older individuals against elder abuse. Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that cause harm to an older person. Elder abuse can include:
Sadly, elder abuse is widespread. Past studies have found that 5 million, or 1 in 10 older Americans experience elder abuse. It is also significantly under-identified and under-reported. A recent study estimated that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 cases were unknown. In addition, the FBI estimated financial abuse and exploitation of older Americans costs more than $3 billion in losses annually.
The Division of Children and Family Services (CFS) Director Stephanie Beasley encourages all individuals with or without elderly family to be on the lookout for signs of elder abuse, saying “Elder abuse affects older people across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races and can occur anywhere when elder Americans are disconnected from social support. While any older person is potentially at risk of elder abuse, based on available information, women and individuals 80 and older are more likely to experience abuse. Factors such as dementia or poor physical health can increase older people's isolation, which in turn puts people at greater risk of experiencing abuse or neglect. Contact the Nebraska Child and Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999 if you suspect elder abuse."
To help spread awareness, Adult Protective Services (APS) Supervisor Ben Kroeze will speak about what Nebraskans can do to help prevent elder abuse during a Facebook Live at noon, Tuesday, June 15. In addition, APS teams across Nebraska will host activities and provide information to their coworkers, speak to community groups and deliver Meals on Wheels to get the word out about elder abuse.
DHHS staff will also be in the first-floor lobby of the DHHS Building (301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509), distributing information along with cookies and swag.
If Nebraskans have reason to believe a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, call the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-652-1999 OR local law enforcement. Language lines are available for non-English speakers. The Nebraska Child and Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline operates 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. For more resources, please visit www.dhhs.ne.gov/weaad.
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