June 15, 2010 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD),and Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), is sponsoring a special event that day at Brockton City Hall to create greater awareness of elder abuse and neglect.
Mayor Linda Balzotti will commemorate the day at the Brockton City Hall event which is being held from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Opening remarks will be made by Diana DiGiorgi, Executive Director of OCES and speakers include: Ann Hartstein, Secretary of Elder Affairs; Timothy Cruz, Plymouth County District Attorney; Tom Donahue, Brockton Elder Police Officer; Deborah Fogarty, Director of Protective Services; Patricia Foley, Protective Services Intake Specialist and Terri Kourtz, Protective Services Supervisor.
During the event, an elder’s story will be read and ribbons and educational material will be given out. OCES staff will recognize the importance of the day by wearing the color purple.
The event is open to the public and will be held at Brockton City Hall at 45 School Street at 2:30 p.m.
According to the World Health Organization, the population of those aged 60 and over will more than double by 2025. As the elder population grows, so will the number of elder abuse cases.
Elder Abuse ranges from physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse to neglect. OCES outlines warning signs of abuse from the National Center for Elder Abuse.
Physical Abuse ‐ Slap marks, unexplained bruises, most pressure marks, and certain types of burns or blisters, such as cigarette burns
Neglect ‐ Pressure ulcers, filth, lack of medical care, malnutrition or dehydration
Emotional Abuse ‐ Withdrawal from normal activities, unexplained changes in alertness, or other unusual behavioral changes
Sexual Abuse ‐ Bruises around the breasts or genital area and unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
Financial Abuse/Exploitation ‐ Sudden change in finances and accounts, altered wills and trusts, unusual bank withdrawals, checks written as “loans” or “gifts,” and loss of property
During the last 11 months, OCES has helped 794 abused or neglected elders within their service area. OCES has a Protective Services staff of 11 with 71 years of combined experience. The Protective Services department helps elders who have been victims of abuse by providing resources such as medical, legal, psychological, financial and housing assistance.
To report suspected elder abuse or neglect, contact OCES at (508) 584-1561 or the statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-922-2275.
Incorporated in 1974, Old Colony Elder Services is one of 27 private, non-profit Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
OCES offers a number of programs to serve seniors, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers such as Family Caregiver; Adult Family Care; Supportive Housing; Nutrition; Money Management; Protective Services; Home Care and more.
OCES offers these programs in the towns of Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater and Whitman.
The organization’s mission is to provide services that support the dignity and independence of elders by helping them maximize their quality of life; live safely and in good health; and, prevent unnecessary or premature institutionalization.
In 2009, OCES was honored with the Metro-South Chamber of Commerce’s “Economic Impact Award”. The agency has 140 employees. For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit the website at www.oldcolonyelderservices.org.