DHR: Elder Abuse Awareness Day set for June 15

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) is encouraging the public to help protect older family members, friends, neighbors, and others from elder abuse by learning to recognize the warning signs of mistreatment.

“A sharp eye is the best defense against elder abuse, neglect and exploitation,” said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “I urge all Alabamians to watch for the warning signs and speak up at the first sign of harm. We value older adults in Alabama, and we all must do our part to keep them safe.”

Thousands of elderly and disabled adults are abused, neglected, and exploited in Alabama every year. Last year alone, DHR’s Adult Protective Services Division received 11,122 reports of elder abuse. Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed June 15, 2022, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Alabama to raise awareness about the problem.

An estimated 1 in 10 Americans over age 60 have experienced abuse. Victims include adults of all genders, races and incomes.

Alabamians can help protect those at risk by watching for these warning signs:

  • Increased fear or anxiety
  • Isolation from friends or family
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Unusual changes in behavior or sleep
  • Unexplained injuries, bruises, cuts, or sores
  • Unsanitary living conditions and poor hygiene
  • Unusual or sudden changes in financial spending patterns, will, or other important documents

Report suspected elder abuse by calling the Adult Abuse Hotline at 1-800- 458-7214, emailing aps@ dhr.alabama.gov, or contacting a local DHR county office. All reports are confidential and may be made anonymously.