MAYVILLE, NY – Officials in Chautauqua County held a rally Thursday outside the County Courthouse to raise awareness about elder abuse.
Organized by the Elder Abuse Council, a New York State Office for the Aging member, Chautauqua County’s Office for the Aging Services Director MaryAnn Spanos, County Executive PJ Wendel, alongside others, declared June “Elder Abuse Prevention Month”.
Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, that results in harm to older adults. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, and/or financial. Abandonment is also a form of abuse.
Startling statistics show that each year, millions of elderly Americans in the U.S. suffer from abuse, neglect or financial exploitation by a caregiver or someone they trust. As a result, many victims are unable or afraid to report these crimes.
“Everyone should be treated with affection, kindness and respect,” explained Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel. “Our senior citizens, especially those who may have trouble completing daily tasks on their own, need our care, assistance and support.”
Thanks in-part to the hard work of those with Chautauqua County’s Office for the Aging Services, several services and programs are available to help older adults and their caregivers as they listen to challenges, promote emotional well-being and provide support for any needs.
“Programs can help caregivers from feeling overwhelmed, improve care for our seniors and help prevent elder abuse,” explained MaryAnn Spanos, Office for the Aging Services director. “We work with the County Health Department, Mental Hygiene, Social Services and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office diligently to support seniors, investigate cases of suspected abuse and defend seniors suffering from abuse.”
During “Elder Abuse Prevention Month”, Chautauqua County leaders encourage all residents to check in often on older adults, promote respectful relationships and help bring an end to elder abuse.
For more information on the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Services, call (716) 753-4471 or visit chqgov.com/office-aging/Office-for-the-Aging.