SPRINGFIELD – In observance of Friday’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Illinois Department on Aging Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., is asking people to wear the color purple. The national observance is marked by wearing purple on June 15 as a way to show that you care about ending elder abuse and neglect.
“There are more than two million older adults in Illinois referring to people older than 60. And according to statistics, as the age increases the occurrence of abuse increases,” said Director Holton. “Last year, there were almost 11,000 reports of elder abuse in Illinois. We’ve seen the number of elder abuse reports increase over the years which is a testament to growing awareness. I encourage everyone to wear the color purple on June 15 and show the world you want an end to elder abuse.”
The Illinois Department on Aging has an Elder Abuse and Neglect Program to respond to reports of alleged mistreatment against older adults who live in the community. The program is coordinated through providers trained to assist and/or intervene. If you or someone you know is a victim, call the police or the department’s 24-hour Elder Abuse Hotline at 866-800-1409.
Friday’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day highlights the need to recognize the signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation. The day also serves as a sneak peek to the State’s month long campaign in July. Each year, IDoA hosts the Break the Silence campaign as one of the ways to educate about elder abuse prevention.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched on June 15, 2006, by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA): http://www.inpea.net/weaad.html. For more information about IDoA’s elder abuse prevention efforts log on to the website at www.state.il.us/aging/.
For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the IDoA Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327.