Throughout the world, abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults largely remains under-recognized, or treated as an unspoken problem.
“No community or country in the world is immune from this social problem,” according to a Department of Family Services’ Elder Abuse Spokesman, Dorothy Thomas.
Thomas said nationally, the abuse of elders is most often perpetrated by family or in-home caregivers, and data indicates that some level of substantiated abuse or neglect occurs in two-thirds of reported cases.
She said World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 is one of many opportunities to share information on abuse and neglect in later life, as a family violence problem, an intergenerational concern, a health, justice, or human rights issue.
She said this year, Elder Abuse Awareness Day will be commemorated by a state proclamation signed by Gov. Matt Mead June 15. Other events will provide an opportunity to join together and recognize local and regional efforts to address the problem.
In Cheyenne, a number of advocacy groups will be honoring our elders. They include Wyoming Kinship Advocacy, the Dept. of Family Services, Laramie County Senior Services, Safehouse Services, the Dept. of Health, Aging Division, and Wyoming Guardianship Inc. and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
The evening of June 14, Thomas said there will be a non-denominational vigil 6:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in downtown Cheyenne. The theme for the event will be be celebrating our elders through the eyes of our children.
Thomas said there will be children reading stories about grandparents and elders, and stories would also be included in a booklet for attendees.
She said, “Communities all around the state will be honoring this day in a variety of ways, and the events are facilitated by members of those communities.”