World Elder Abuse Day

Growing Older Shouldn’t Hurt by Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt

Each year hundreds of thousands of older individuals are exploited, abused, and neglected across the country.   World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization to raise awareness of Elder abuse in communities around the world.  The Administration on Aging defines elder abuse as a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.  Forms of elder abuse include physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, financial abuse and exploitation, abandonment, and self-neglect.   Often times, the victims of elder abuse are older, frail, vulnerable, isolated, suffering from a form of dementia, and rely on others to meet their most basic needs.

In 2014, Dodge County Human Services and Health Department Adult Protective Services Unit received and investigated 155 reports of Elder Abuse.   Wisconsin also recognizes that there are younger adults with disabilities, Vulnerable Adults at Risk between the ages of 18 to 59, whom also experience abuse and neglect.  The Dodge County Adult Protective Services Unit received 96 referrals regarding abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Vulnerable Adults at Risk in 2014. 

The Dodge County Human Services and Health Department in conjunction with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office has placed 155 purple pin wheels in front of the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in recognition of WEAAD and the 155 Dodge County elderly individuals who experienced abuse or neglect. 

In addition to the placement of the pinwheels, the Dodge County Human Services Adult Protective Services Unit in conjunction with the Dementia Concerns Coalition and Home Instead Senior Care, sent information to all individuals who receive home delivered meals or attend meal sites, on what elder abuse is and where to report it.

To report suspected abuse in the community contact the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office or the Aging and Disability Resource Center.  The Dodge County Aging and Disability Resource Center can be reached at 800-924-6407 or 920-386-3580.  

From left to right are the following: Melissa Evans, Pam Couperus, Erin Bussian, Sheriff Dale Schmidt, Doreen Goetsch, Cathy Wiersma, Paula Becker, and Amanda Hayes.