Letter to the editor
The Scioto County Elder Abuse Task Force and the Area Agency on Aging District 7, Inc. would like to thank the individuals and agencies responsible for Elder Abuse Awareness Day that was held recently at the Welcome Center in Portsmouth.
Due to inclement weather, the event was moved from Tracy Park to the Welcome Center. We want to thank Bill Thacker, Executive Director of the Scioto County Community Action Organization, for working with us at the last minute and allowing us to use the Welcome Center for this important event.
We would also like to thank Mayor David Malone, Police Chief Robert Ware, Prosecutor Mark Kuhn, and Paige Robbins, Director of the Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services, for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend and provide participants with valuable information about Elder Abuse.
Refreshments were sponsored by Hill View Retirement Center, Kroger’s, and King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio. John Hogan and Jason Burton with the Port City Pub and Cafe provided a morning filled with great music, and Southern Ohio Medical Center and Bickett’s Machine and Gas Supply sponsored the launching of 162 purple balloons to represent the 162 cases of reported elder abuse in Scioto County in 2012.
Participants were also given an opportunity to learn more about the services of the various agencies represented by the Scioto County Elder Abuse Task Force and to win door prizes by visiting their informational tables. These agencies included: Southern Ohio Medical Center, United Scioto Senior Activities (USSA), Scioto County Victim/Witness Program, Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services, King’s Daughters Medical Center Ohio, Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority, Hill View Retirement Center, Scioto County Department of Developmental Disabilities, The Counseling Center, the Portsmouth Police Department, and the ADAMHS Board (Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services). Door prizes were also provided by Dr. T. Inoshita.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, nearly 6,000,000 cases of elder abuse took place in 2010, and 1 in 10 elderly were victims of abuse, with two-thirds at the hands of adult children or spouses. Police Chief Robert Ware gave an impassioned speech and stated, “Today’s elders have experienced rich and fulfilling lives, imparted great knowledge and demonstrated an unparalleled work ethic and sense of duty. We owe it to them to care for them when they are most vulnerable as they did for us when we were most vulnerable. Our lives are like the rise and fall of the sun. Some of the most beautiful moments in life are when the sun rises and when the sun sets. We need to ensure that beauty continues until the very last days of our lives. For if we don’t care for our elders, how can we expect anyone to care for us when our sun begins to set.”
Chairperson of the Scioto County Elder Abuse Task Force
Ombudsman Program Director, Area Agency on Aging District 7
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