Maryland Senior Centers Mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
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Maryland Senior Centers Mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

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June 12, 2014

Ways to Act

Maryland WEAAD Event

With representation from federal, state, and local officials, senior centers in Montgomery County, Maryland hosted events to mark the 2014 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. 

A standing-room only crowd gathered at the Rockville Senior Center to hear about the state of elder abuse today, learn what advocacy is needed, and interact with dozens of exhibitors from public agencies and private entities that assist and empower older adults. A similar program was repeated at the Holiday Park Senior Center.

The State’s Attorney for Montgomery County served as the emcee for the event. The Secretary of the Maryland Department on Aging set the stage, and Kathy Greenlee, the Administrator of the Administration for Community Living and the Assistant Secretary for Aging, spoke about the need to finally build the federal infrastructure to tackle elder abuse and where the current federal investment stands. The good news is that the President requested $25 million for elder justice, and the Senate is proposing $10 million, but Congress needs to hear from its constituents if the funding is to become a reality. 

A representative from the Office of Adult Services at the Maryland Department of Human Resources spoke about the challenges that Adult Protective Services faces in addressing instances of elder abuse across the state, and what a new federal investment would mean. The Executive Director of the National Adult Protective Services Association provided the keynote address and shared chilling statistics and stories and issued a call to action to help secure long overdue federal investment and leadership.

A proclamation from the governor, establishing World Elder Abuse Awareness Week in the state, was presented, and a proclamation was delivered by the County Executive and the Public Safety Chairperson of the County Council recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  

Greenlee called the Rockville event a “fabulous occurrence.” The setup was “perfect”the seniors in the crowd surrounded by federal, state, and local officials; law enforcement; and advocates showed how we all need to come together to support elder justice in communities. 

This event and others across the country are being catalogued by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), with a call to turn every state purple. Access tips on how to organize an event, and click the link for “Submit an Event” to find out if you could be the one who will share an event that will turn your state purple. 

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