Friday, October 19, 2012

Education and Outreach on Elder Abuse Awareness

OOIE acknowledges World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2012

Friday, June 15, was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day created in 2006 to focus attention on elder abuse and exploitation.

In honor of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Ombudsman James W. McCracken visited Bristol Glen Continuing Care Retirement Community and attended an event at the Ramada Toms River for residents of the communities of Green Acres  Manor and Magnolia  Gardens. The purpose of these visits was to help raise awareness of elder abuse and provide residents, family members and members of the public with information that they need to combat abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable older adults.

McCracken at Bristol Glen Continuing Care Retirement Community
OOIE is a resident-focused advocacy program that seeks to protect the health, safety, welfare, and civil and human rights of older individuals who live in long-term care facilities. We receive about 6,000 complaints of abuse, neglect or exploitation in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living, boarding homes, and residential health care providers.

The message that McCracken delivered at these events and in a letter to the editor published in several major daily newspapers is that, while awareness of an issue is important, action is even more important.

Becoming a volunteer advocate is one way to combat elder abuse and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of elderly residents living in a nursing home. Volunteer advocates receive 32 hours of training and are asked to spend four hours a week at a local nursing home, listening to residents’ concerns and advocating on their behalf.  To become a volunteer, call the OOIE Volunteer Advocate Program at 609-826-5053.

As Ombudsman McCracken always says: The need is clearly there — will you answer the call?

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