COLUMBUS - Friday, June 15, 2012, is Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Ohio and around the world. The Ohio Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman and the Ohio Department of Aging will host a Facebook chat about national and state efforts to prevent elder abuse and improve reporting. Special guest for the chat will be Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
From 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., the state ombudsman's office will feature a series of posts on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ohioltcombudsman) to facilitate discussion of Ohio's efforts to increase reporting and public awareness of elder abuse. From 1:30 to 3 p.m., the discussion will turn to national efforts. Assistant Secretary Greenlee will offer national insights and also ask about Ohio's accomplishments and plans. The event is open to anyone with a free Facebook account available at www.facebook.com.
"As many as 1 in 10 elders has experienced some type of abuse, neglect or exploitation, but more than 80 percent of those cases go unreported," said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the department. "Though factors like age, gender and mental ability increase risk, abuse can happen to anyone in any setting and across all socio-economic categories. If more people learn to recognize the risks and the warning signs, most cases can be prevented."
Earlier this year, the Ohio General Assembly passed Am. H.B. 215 to establish June 15 each year as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Ohio. That date also is observed as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, promoted nationally by HHS. In general, elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that lead to, or may lead to, harm of an elder. Some types of elder abuse include: physical abuse, neglect, emotional or psychological abuse, verbal abuse and threats, financial abuse and exploitation, sexual abuse, abandonment and self-neglect.
About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that our elders are respected as vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute. We work with state agencies and community partners, including area agencies on aging, to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. Our programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, caregiver support, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.
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