June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), the non-profit agency proudly serving older adults and individuals with disabilities throughout greater Plymouth County and surrounding communities, will be leading two marches in an effort to raise awareness of elder abuse.
OCES invites the public, civic leaders, health workers and community supporters to join them in “March Against Elder Abuse” walks, which will be held in Brockton and Plymouth in June.
On June 14, 2018, OCES and the Brockton Council on Aging (COA) will hold a March Against Elder Abuse beginning at 12 p.m. at the Brockton COA, 10 Father Kenney Way. Participants will march down Main Street to OCES’ office and return to the COA for a special lunch with guest speakers.
RSVP to Jasmine Ramirez, 508-584-1561 ext. 338 or to the Brockton COA 508-580-7811 by June 7th.
On June 21, 2018, OCES and the Center for Active Living (formerly known as Plymouth Council on Aging) will hold a March Against Elder Abuse in Plymouth. The march begins at 11 a.m. at the Center for Active Living, 44 Nook Road. Participants will be transported to the Plymouth waterfront to march, then will be transported back to the center for a lunch with guest speakers.
RSVP to Jasmine Ramirez, 508-584-1561 ext. 338 or to the Center for Active Living 508-830-4230 by June 14th.
“In fiscal year 2017, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs received 30,739 reports state-wide,” said Teresa Kourtz, OCES’ Protective Services Director. “We encourage the community to march with us as we strive to raise awareness and work together to help prevent elder abuse.”
Last June, more than 175 participants joined OCES, the Brockton COA and Plymouth Center for Active Living in two marches during Elder Abuse Awareness Month.
This year’s March Against Elder Abuse events are sponsored by HarborOne Bank, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz, Roche Bros., Shaw’s, The Rotary Club of Brockton, Papa Gino’s, Brockton Police, Plymouth Police Relief Association (PPRA), the Mary Cruise Kennedy Senior Center and the Plymouth Center for Active Living.
Both events will be held rain or shine.
Elder abuse includes financial exploitation, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, family members comprise the majority of abusers. Additionally, research indicates that individuals with dementia are at even greater risk for elder abuse.
“OCES helps elders who have been victims of neglect or harm from a caregiver. When there is a report made to the Elder Abuse Hotline, an OCES Protective Services Worker is assigned to investigate the report, provide support, and if needed, share information about resources such as medical, legal, psychological, financial and housing assistance,” explained Kourtz.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, an estimated five million, or one in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation every year. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported.
Witnesses to elder abuse, or those who see symptoms of elder abuse, should report it to their local protective services program or call the state’s Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275.
Founded in 1974, OCES proudly serves greater Plymouth County and surrounding communities. OCES is a private, non-profit organization headquartered in Brockton with a second office in Plymouth. OCES is designated as one of 26 Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OCES’ mission is to support the independence and dignity of elders and people with disabilities by providing essential information and services that promote healthy and safe living. The agency offers a number of programs to serve seniors, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information call 508-584-1561 or visit www.ocesma.org.