On June 15: Ottawa Co. going purple to raise awareness about elder abuse

Press Staff Writer

        Ottawa County Task Force on Aging, the Ottawa County Commissioners and all Ottawa County Service Agencies are inviting citizens of Ottawa County to help “Turn Ottawa County Purple” on Tuesday, June 15 in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
        Community members are encouraged to wear purple clothes or jewelry or a purple ribbon; fly purple balloons; wrap mailboxes, trees and poles with purple yarn or ribbon, or use purple lighting.
        On this day, all citizens are also being asked to be aware of the signs of elder abuse, self-neglect, neglect and exploitation.
        The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for our communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders, and reaffirm our country’s commitment to the principle of justice for all.
        “When we come together, we can prevent elder abuse from happening,” said Dianne Mortensen, director of Ottawa County Senior Resources. “We can put support services in place and direct community resources toward addressing elder abuse. Our country must reaffirm our commitment to justice and create a sturdy structure of support that will benefit us all as we get older.”
        Elder abuse is widespread. Experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, in part because so many of our communities lack the social supports that would make it easier for those who experience abuse to report it. In addition to being a clear violation of the American commitment to justice for all, elder abuse is an issue with many consequences for our society. Its effects on our communities range from public health to economic issues.
        “The good news is that we can prevent and address the issue of elder abuse,” Mortensen said. “There are many ways to strengthen our social supports through policies, services and programs that keep us integrated in our communities as we age. By doing all that we can to strengthen the social support structure, we can reduce social isolation, protect communities and families against elder abuse, and build a nation that lives up to our promise of justice for all.”
        To report elder abuse in Ottawa County, call the intake number directly at 419-707-8639.  Elder Abuse can also be reported by calling the 24-hour Ohio Reporting Line at 855-644-6277.  For non-emergencies, a report can be made utilizing the 24-hour online portal, aps.jfs.ohio.gov/.
         For all emergencies or if in need of immediate assistance, call 9-1-1. There is no excuse for elder abuse.


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