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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office Advocates The Protection And Safety Of Older Adults Through Education And Community Awareness

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
June 15th Is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is on Saturday, June 15th. In observance of WEAAD, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is reaffirming its commitment to protect older adults from abuse, neglect, and fraud. WEAAD serves as an important reminder of the prevalence of elder abuse and the need for community awareness, education, prevention, and intervention.

Elder abuse is a growing concern across the nation, affecting millions of older adults each year. It encompasses various forms of mistreatment, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect and financial exploitation. The consequences of elder abuse are devastating, often leading to severe physical injuries, emotional trauma, and even death.

“Our elderly population deserves to live with dignity and respect, free from fear of abuse and exploitation,” said Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day shines a light on this critical issue and serves as a call to action for our community to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting those who perpetrate crimes against older adults. However, law enforcement alone cannot address this issue; community awareness and preventive measures are equally important.

To mark WEAAD, the U.S. Attorney’s Office planned a series of outreach events and initiatives aimed at raising awareness and educating the public about the signs of elder abuse and the resources available to prevent and address it. These events included:

  1. Elder Fraud Bingo: This event, held in Asheville today and previously at other locations throughout Western North Carolina, is a fun activity that delivers vital information to older adults and other community members about the types of scams targeting older adults and encourages the reporting of fraud.
  2. Educational “Walk for Awareness:” In partnership with local senior centers, healthcare providers, local governments, and other community organizations, the U.S. Attorney’s Office participated in a “Walk for Awareness” held in Charlotte and in Asheville. The focus of the events was to bring awareness to elder abuse, help participants recognize the signs of abuse, understand the rights of older adults, and how to access support services.
  3. Public Service Announcement (PSA): A PSA featuring U.S. Attorney King delivering a message against elder abuse was posted on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s YouTube Channel and shared on social media, highlighting the importance of recognizing and reporting elder abuse.
  4. Resource Distribution: The U.S. Attorney’s Office partnered with Mecklenburg County’s Senior Nutrition Program in Charlotte, and Sparc’s Health & Nutrition Program in Asheville, to distribute informational material to homebound older adults through their mobile meal delivery services, to ensure that vital information reaches as many people as possible.
Elder Fraud Infographic

         

Infographic 2

 

“Our goal is to empower our community with the knowledge and tools to combat elder abuse effectively,” said U.S. Attorney King. “By working together, we can remove the stigma associated with victimization, encourage the reporting of abuse and exploitation, and above all ensure a safer, more supportive environment for our senior citizens.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office encourages everyone to learn more about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation and to be vigilant in protecting older adults.

If you suspect elder abuse, please contact your local law enforcement or the Eldercare Locator Helpline at 1-800-677-1116 or visit eldercare.acl.gov.

You can also report suspected financial exploitation and fraud by calling the Justice Department’s Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311) or visiting the Elder Justice Initiative at Justice.gov/elderjustice.

Updated June 13, 2024

Topics
Elder Justice
Community Outreach