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After signing a proclamation Thursday designating June 15 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Lincoln County Mayor Peggy Bevels tied a purple bow around a pillar at the Lincoln County Courthouse bandstand in remembrance and recognition of abuse victims in Lincoln County.
“Elders are being neglected, financially exploited and physically assaulted every day,” said County Mayor Bevels. “We need to be aware of our elderly neighbors and report abusive situations to Adult Protective Services.”
Elder abuse is any act that harms a senior or jeopardizes his or her health or welfare. It is an ever-increasing problem in today’s society that crosses all socio-economic boundaries.
More than 12,600 reports of adult abuse, neglect and or exploitation were made to the Tennessee Department of Human Services’ Adult Protective Services Program last year.
Signs of abuse include unexplained bruises, isolation or no money for food or medicine. Other signs include belittling or threatening the elder, bedsores and unattended medical needs; strained relationships can also be a tip-off as to abuse.
“It is important that people know the signs and that they report abuse,” Mayor Bevels stated. “People’s lives may depend on it.”
If you think someone you know is being subjected to elder abuse, call the Tennessee Elder Abuse line at 1-888-277-8366. The call can be made anonymously.
Portions of the proclamation read that Tennessee’s seniors are valued members of society and it is our collective responsibility to ensure they live safely and with dignity. “Seniors deserve to live safely with dignity and as independently as possible with the supports they need,” the proclamation reads.