When it comes to prevention of elder abuse, one of the biggest tools in the arsenals of those trying to stem cases of abuse is knowledge. Most importantly, educating members of the community about the signs of possible abuse and neglect. This can include education about the signs of self-abuse and self-neglect, which does occur with frequency in the senior community. The Marshall News Messenger reports on Harrison County declaring an Elder Abuse Prevention Month.
There were 280 reports of abuse to the disabled and elderly that were investigated in Harrison County, Texas last year.
59 cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation were confirmed by in-home caseworkers. On Tuesday, the Harrison County Commissioner’s Court passed a proclamation declaring May as Elder Abuse Awareness Month to educate community members about elder abuse and neglect.
Rodney Jones, a supervisor with the local office of Adult Protective Services, said that in addition to obvious signs of neglect and abuse, friends and loved ones should also take care to recognize signs of self-neglect. Many cases that have been investigated by Adult Protective Services involved adults who were neglecting to care for themselves.
The proclamation reiterated the importance of the elder generations in the community in preserving traditions and customs and passing on the wisdom of their generations. It went on to state that it is the duty of every citizen to be aware of the signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to report and suspected incidents.