Big Sky Senior Services Prevention of Elder Abuse program is commemorating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Monday, June 15, by creating awareness of elder abuse issues. Staff will be reaching out to the senior living facilities in Billings to present purple ribbons and brochures on the types and signs of elder abuse and how to report suspicions.
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2006, in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse.
Every year an estimated one in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported; as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
Montana is aging at a faster rate than most of the other states and ranks at fifth in the nation in the percentage of people over the age of 65.
In a press release, Big Sky Senior Services encouraged community members to help by volunteering to be a phone friend to an elderly person or donating to assist the organization’s elder abuse education efforts.
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Organizations interested in a presentation on elder abuse may call 406-259-3111 or go to bigskyseniorservices.org for more information.
Anyone suspecting that someone is a victim of elder abuse should report their suspicion to their local Adult Protective Services. Information and resources are available online at dphhs.mt.gov/sltc/services/aps (click on “Protective and Legal Services”).