ATLANTA — In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which was recognized June 15, the Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services is encouraging Georgians to learn about warning signs of elder abuse and help raise awareness about the abuse of older adults and people with disabilities.
“Abuse doesn’t always result in bruises,” said Dr. James Bulot, the director of the Division of Aging Services. “It can take many complex forms that affect victims emotionally, physically, sexually or financially.”
Key signs of elder abuse are listed at www.aging.ga.gov under the tab, “Report Elder Abuse.”
According to the Administration on Aging, 10 percent of older Americans become victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation each year. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
The National Center on Elder Abuse, located at www.ncea.aoa.gov, offers consumer information along with community education resources for faith-based organizations, coalitions and other groups. Click “Get Involved” on the NCEA website for fact sheets, project ideas and other awareness-building tools.
Georgia’s statewide Adult Protective Services team accepts reports of suspicious activity by phone, by fax and online. To report abuse, neglect or exploitation of an older person or an adult with a disability in community or residential settings, call DHS Adult Protective Services Central Intake, toll-free, at 866-552-4464. For emergencies, dial 911.
Georgians are encouraged to join the cause against abuse, neglect and exploitation throughout the year. To report concerns, request a brochure, schedule a presentation or volunteer, call the Division of Aging Services at 866-552-4464 or go to www.aging.ga.gov.