Senior Awareness: Purple Ribbon Campaign initiated

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By Jon Costa

With estimates of 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 years of age in the U.S. every day, there is a growing concern about the well-being of our elderly. 

In Etowah County alone, more than 200 reports of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation are received every year by the Department of Human Resources. 

This problem may only become worse with an increasingly older population.

The Council on Aging of Etowah County has become a leader in this fight against Elder Abuse, with its most innovative program targeting the prevention of the abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of seniors being the Helping Elders Live Protected (HELP) Coalition.  HELP’s mission is to be a resource for vulnerable adults in order to prevent elder abuse through increased awareness, education, and advocacy.  This Coalition consists of local professionals that are networking and strategically planning to address the unmet needs of seniors.

During the month of May, which was observed throughout our country as Older Americans Month, the Service Guild of Gadsden partnered with The Council on Aging to raise needed funds for the agency’s programs.  A Purple Ribbon Campaign was initiated, which also helped to raise awareness about the maltreatment some seniors suffer; like blue has been the traditional color for child abuse prevention initiatives, purple is the color representing elder abuse prevention.

If you are suspicious that you or someone you know is being abused, neglected, or financially exploited, report your concerns to law enforcement and the Department of Human Resources. 

Who knows, it just may save someone from the suffering they’ve endured for far too long, or even premature death.

To learn more about elder abuse prevention, The Council on Aging will hold its 9th Annual Elder Abuse Awareness Day Summit on Wednesday, June 18 at the Senior Activity Center, 623 Broad St., Gadsden.

Seniors, their family members, and professionals from all disciplines are encouraged to attend and hear valuable information from experts about quality of life and elder abuse prevention concerns, with 3.75 CEU’s being offered. 

The doors open at 8:30 a.m. and a free breakfast is provided while attendees are able to visit up to 40 vendors.  (Much thanks to the more than 20 sponsors who fund and support this event every year.)

The morning program begins at 9:30 a.m. and a free lunch is provided afterward, along with door prizes being called throughout the session. 

An event t-shirt is also given to the first 100 people 55+ or 50 years of age with disability. 

The 2-hour afternoon workshop session begins at 1 p.m.

The public is invited, and no reservations are needed.

If more information is needed, or you wish to purchase a purple ribbon, please call The Council on Aging (256) 543-3616.

Jon Costa is Program Specialist with The Council on Aging of Etowah County.

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