County DHR promotes World Elder Abuse Awareness DayPublished 10:40am Thursday, June 13, 2013
Tallapoosa County Department of Human Resources is helping raise awareness in order to protect the elderly.
Tallapoosa County DHR will help observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 14 as part of Alabama’s response to elder abuse.
Brenda Floyd, director of Tallapoosa County DHR, said the department has been raising awareness throughout the month.
“The adult-service worker and I went last Friday and spoke with one of the senior citizens groups at the Alexander City Senior Citizen Activity Center,” Floyd said. “We also have a big, purple bow that we have hung outside of the DHR office because purple is the color nationally recognized to represent elder abuse awareness. We are really trying to make it a practice to make everyone aware throughout the month.”
Floyd said DHR is asking that people wear purple June 14 to raise awareness about elder abuse.
Floyd said it is important to raise awareness about elder abuse because about 84 percent of abuse cases go unreported.
“Many of our elderly are very dependent on others for their care, and they can become isolated. The result is that it can make them a primary target for abuse, neglect and exploitation,” Floyd said. “Unfortunately, our victims are most often abused, neglected and exploited by individuals they know and trust. This presents some very difficult challenges.”
Floyd said Tallapoosa County DHR has a protective service worker on staff for adults, and the department investigates all reported cases in order to ensure the safety of individuals in abusive situations.
“We do have an adult protective-service worker within our agency, and this person investigates reports and takes every measure to try to arrange protection for these individuals,” Floyd said. “Our ultimate commitment is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the elderly. The adult protective service through our agency is just one of several programs.”
DHR investigates to find out if the reported case is abuse or neglect or if it is an individual who just needs additional assistance.
“We should cherish our elderly people,” Floyd said. “It’s so unfortunate we have people who take advantage of them.”
People who suspect mistreatment of an elderly person or an adult who has disabilities, should contact Tallapoosa County DHR at 256-825-2755 or call 1-800-458-7214.
Reports can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All reports are confidential and may be made anonymously.