XENIA — June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of the abuse, neglect and exploitation of the nation’s senior citizens.
The Greene County Elder Abuse Interdisciplinary Team (I-Team) works to raise awareness and prevent elder abuse in the community. The members of the Elder Abuse I-Team recently wore purple in recognition of Elder Abuse Awareness Month. This group is made up of law enforcement officials, first responders, social service professionals, and other stakeholders who work regularly with seniors in Greene County.
The Elder Abuse I-Team is led by the Greene County Department of Job and Family Services and its Adult Protective Services (APS) unit. APS helps vulnerable adults aged 60 and older who are in danger of harm, are unable to protect themselves, and may have no one to assist them. Trained staff receive and investigate reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable elderly citizens. All referrals are screened and assessed to evaluate the needs of the individual and offer available community resources. In 2016, APS received 241 referrals.
Kellie Phillips, the Supervisor of the APS unit, said, “Collaboration with community stakeholders is key to effectively preventing, reducing and eliminating elder abuse among the vulnerable seniors in Greene County.”
“We are proud of the strong network of service providers who come together to look out for vulnerable seniors in Greene County,” added Beth Rubin, Director of Greene County Department of Job and Family Services. “It is one of the many areas in which Greene County shines in striving to improve the lives of our citizens.”
Karen Puterbaugh, Director of the Greene County Council on Aging, also commented on the problem of elder abuse.
“Sadly, the quality of life for a small number of our more than 35,000 Greene County seniors is significantly compromised because of abuse, neglect and exploitation,” she said. “The Council on Aging works closely with Adult Protective Services and other community partners to offer support and services when appropriate. Working together, we do the best we can in some very difficult and complex situations.”
Story courtesy of Greene County Children Services.