June 15, 2023 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On that day, communities all over the world will sponsor events to highlight solutions to this systemic social challenge. The Aging & Disability Resource Center of Southwest Wisconsin – Iowa County or ADRC is proud to host a presentation on scams, as well as information and resources to help you protect, detect, and report Medicare fraud and abuse, facilitated by our local Sheriff’s Department and Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources Senior Medicare Patrol.  In addition, throughout the month of June, the ADRC will bring awareness to this social issue with a display of pinwheels which will be located outside of the ADRC.  Each one will represent a case of elder abuse reported in 2022.

As Americans, we believe in justice for all. Yet we fail to live up to this promise when we allow older members of our society to be abused or neglected. Older people are vital, contributing members of American society and their maltreatment diminishes all of us. Just as we have confronted and addressed the social issues of child abuse and domestic violence, so too can we find solutions to address issues like elder abuse, which also threatens the well-being of our community.

Society’s policies and practices make it hard for older people to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older generations are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of adult abuse and neglect. We can design stronger societal supports to keep our older people connected and protect them from abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical or sexual. When we address a root cause, like social isolation, we also make it less likely that people will become neglected. Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go into nursing homes and less likely to die early.

We can and must create healthier and safer living environments for older adults, including their homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

Get more information about how to make a difference by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse https://ncea.acl.gov or by calling the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 to explore local community services and supports or contact the ADRC at 608-930-9835.

Thank you!