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Elder Abuse Awareness on the Rise

This year, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is on Thursday, June 15. As you gear up to recognize the day and continue to educate your communities about this public health epidemic, increasing attention is being paid by policymakers and others to the problem.

Last week, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) announced the establishment of a bipartisan Elder Justice Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Caucus intends to “help to unify a voice in Congress by bringing together members with a shared interest in preventing elder abuse.”
 
This excellent news was magnified by the fact that Reps. King and Bonamici also introduced an Elder Justice Act reauthorization at the same time! The Elder Justice Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2639) would extend through 2021 the Elder Justice Act of 2009 that authorized the establishment and coordination of federal resources to protect seniors from elder abuse, through the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, the Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation, and grant funding streams to state and local entities. 
 
This level of renewed engagement from policymakers is critical as n4a's members and our own Eldercare Locator staff report rising incidents of abuse nationwide. In our forthcoming Eldercare Locator data report, due out in July, this trend is sited. In 2016, the Locator received more than 7,000 calls regarding elder abuse, with 30 percent financial exploitation/scam-related, 19 percent related to emotional abuse, 19 neglect, 8 percent institutional abuse and 7 percent physical abuse. How does that national data compare to your local trend data? Contact Patrice Earnest, Director, Eldercare Locator, pearnest@n4a.org for more information and stay tuned for the report!
 
For more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and campaign materials to use locally, visit ACL's WEAAD page: https://www.acl.gov/news-and-events/events-and-observances/world-elder-abuse-awareness-day

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