Harrisburg – Secretary of Aging Brian Duke today urged Pennsylvanians to watch for the signs of elder abuse and reminded them they could confidentially report any suspicions of elder abuse using a statewide hotline.
Duke was joined at an Elder Abuse Awareness Month event in the Capitol today by Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny), Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester), Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia) and other stakeholders. The event was intended to call attention to the growing problem of elder abuse, teach common signs that could indicate elder abuse, and to direct the public to report any and all suspicions of elder abuse.
“To raise awareness of this vital issue, Governor Tom Corbett has proclaimed June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month in Pennsylvania,” Duke said. “Now is the perfect time to remind every Pennsylvanian of our shared responsibility to protect the health, safety, dignity and rights of older adults.
“Although taking a stand against elder abuse requires a total team effort, all action starts at an individual level – one person, one action and one state.”
Anyone can confidentially report elder abuse by calling the 24-hour statewide Elder Abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505, or by contacting their local Area Agency on Aging.
Elder abuse can include neglect, financial exploitation, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. Signs of abuse can include bruises or broken bones, weight loss, or the withdrawal of large sums of money from an account without an apparent reason.
Last year, 18,854 cases of suspected abuse and neglect were reported to the Department of Aging’s protective services programs, which work with investigators from the state’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging to protect older Pennsylvanians. Protective services are mandated by the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA), which safeguards the rights of older adults while protecting them from abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.
For more information on how to prevent and report elder abuse, visit www.aging.state.pa.us
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