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Maine.gov > All Press Releases > Elder Abuse Awareness Day Recognized by Governor, State Agencies and Private Organizations
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MAINE DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL
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June 15, 2009
Representatives of state agencies and private organizations that combat violence and the exploitation of seniors joined Governor John E. Baldacci for the signing of a gubernatorial proclamation designating Monday, June 15th, “Elder Abuse Awareness Day” in the State of Maine.
In signing the proclamation, which accompanies this release, Governor Baldacci recognized the efforts of state employees, as well as the administrators, staff members and volunteers at many private organizations, for their ongoing efforts to protect elderly Mainers and raise awareness about all forms of elder abuse.
“Seniors in Maine are fortunate to have a network of caring individuals who work tirelessly to prevent elder abuse and to assist those who become the victim of violence or exploitation,” Baldacci commented. “In designating June 15th as Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I want to acknowledge the dedicated service of those in state agencies and private organizations who work each day to protect our seniors.”
At the same time, the Governor and senior advocates emphasized that elder abuse is frequently misunderstood and too often unreported. Elder abuse includes the physical, emotional or financial abuse of a vulnerable senior, or the neglect of a senior on the part of a caregiver. It is one of the most under-reported and fastest-growing crimes, due to the dramatic increase in the number of seniors in our society.
Statistics collected by the National Center on Elder Abuse show that the majority of seniors are victimized by family members or other caregivers, which may be why most cases are never reported or investigated. A significant number of cases of financial abuse and exploitation often involve a trusted individual with access to the senior’s finances.
Joining the Governor for the proclamation signing were representatives from the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, the Office of Adult Protective Services and Elder Services at DHHS, the Attorney General’s Office, the Maine chapter of AARP, Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging, and Volunteers of America.
In addition to the proclamation, a partial listing of contact information and services in Maine related to elder abuse is attached to this release. More information about Elder Abuse Awareness Day and crimes against seniors is also available from the National Center on Elder Abuse online at www.ncea.aoa.gov. Additionally, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services provides Elder Abuse information online at www.maine.gov/dhhs/oes/aps/elderabuseawarenessweek2009.shtml.
Partial List of Elder Abuse Contact Information and Services
To report Elder Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation, contact the Department of Health and Human Services: 1-800-624-8404
To report the financial exploitation of seniors, contact Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation:
o Office of Securities: 1-877-624-8551 www.investors.maine.gov o Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection: 1-800-332-8529 o Bureau of Insurance: 1-800-300-5000 o Bureau of Financial Institutions:1-800-965-5235
Statewide Family Violence Project Hotline: 1-866-834-4357
Statewide Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-871-7741
To seek consumer protection and mediation services from Maine’s Office of Attorney General: 1-800-436-2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program: 1-800-499-0229 or www.maineombudsman.org
Legal Services for the Elderly: 1-800-750-5353
Senior Hotline, Area Agency on Aging: 1-877-ELDERS1 or 1-877-353-3771
Maine AARP Offices: 1-866-554-5380
Volunteers of America Northern New England, which administers programs in support of seniors, including the Elder Justice Training Partnership: 207-373-1140 or www.voanne.org/
Maine Alzheimer’s Association: 1-800-272-3900 or www.alz.org/maine
PROCLAMATION DECLARING JUNE 15th 2009
“ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY”
Whereas, seniors are valued members of our State and it is our collective responsibility to ensure they live safely and with dignity; and
Whereas, elder abuse is an ever-increasing problem in today’s society as the growing senior population across all socio-economic boundaries is increasingly targeted; and
Whereas, there are multiple types of elder abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment and financial exploitation; and
Whereas, all forms of elder abuse continue to be vastly underreported to law enforcement officials and to State agencies, with estimates indicating that only 1 out of 5 cases or fewer are currently being reported; and
Whereas, many agencies of State government, including the Office of Elder Services, Adult Protective Services, the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of Public Safety, are actively engaged in elder abuse education, prevention and service delivery; and
Whereas, numerous non-profit organizations are devoted to the protection of seniors, such as the statewide Elder Abuse Task Force, Maine TRIAD, AARP/Maine, the Area Agencies on Aging, the Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine, Legal Services for the Elderly, and Volunteers of America Northern New England; and
Whereas, Elder Abuse Awareness Day will raise awareness of elder abuse and financial exploitation and will reinforce our universal commitment to protecting seniors in our communities;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN E. BALDACCI, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim June 15, 2009 as
ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY
throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to become increasingly sensitive to the reality of elder abuse and to take appropriate action when abuse is suspected.
Last Updated: June 17, 2009 3:04 PM
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