Office of Children and Family Services

 

NEWS
For Immediate Release: 6/12/2015

Contact: Steve Flamisch

Email: steve.flamisch@ocfs.ny.gov

Phone: 518-402-3130

Governor Cuomo Declares June 15 as 'World Elder Abuse Awareness Day' in New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declared Monday, June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in New York State to raise awareness about the warning signs of abuse, efforts to prevent it, and ways to protect family, friends, and neighbors from exploitation and harm. Read the proclamation here.

In New York State, complaints about abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults, including the elderly, are reported to and investigated by the Protective Services for Adults (PSA) units of local social services districts, which are supervised by the OCFS Bureau of Adult Services.

Elder abuse includes many types of harm and can occur in community or institutional settings. Victims can be of all backgrounds, making awareness among all populations increasingly important. Elder abuse includes physical, psychological and sexual abuse; neglect by a caregiver; and financial exploitation.

Victims of abuse may be in poor health, have cognitive impairments, may be isolated from others, and may be unwilling to acknowledge they are victims. They may also be fearful of their abusers and may feel they have no option other than to continue in the abusive situation.

For every case of elder abuse that is reported in New York State, an estimated 24 cases go unreported. Everyone can help prevent, detect and report instances of suspected abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. To report suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services in Upstate New York call (844) 697-3505. In New York City, call (212) 630-1853.

In the Capital Region, experts and officials will be distributing information about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday at Crossgates Mall in Guilderland (lower level, outside the Apple Store).

Everyone can help prevent, detect, and report instances of suspected abuse. The following is a list of Do's and Don'ts to keep in mind:

DO

· Maintain close ties with impaired friends and relatives

· Find sources of help and use them

· Examine closely your ability to provide long-term, in-home care

· Explore alternative sources of care

· Develop new ways to provide assistance to care giving families

· Ask community groups to become involved in service programs

· Publicize available support services and professionals

· Provide training for community "gatekeepers" and service providers

· Recognize that many forms of abuse and mistreatments are crimes

· Contact your local county department of social services if you suspect adult abuse in your family or community

DON'T

· Offer personal home care unless you thoroughly understand and can meet the demands, responsibilities, and costs involved

· Ignore your limitations and overextend yourself when caring for an impaired adult

· Expect family problems to disappear once the impaired adult moves into the home

· Hamper the impaired adult's independence

· Intrude unnecessarily on the impaired adult's privacy

· Ignore signs of abuse in the community because you aren't related to the suspected victim

· Neglect reporting suspected abuse for fear of financial or legal responsibility

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