Event Aims to Educate About All-Too-Prevalent Elder Abuse
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Event Aims to Educate About All-Too-Prevalent Elder Abuse

Event Aims to Educate About All-To-Prevalent Elder Abuse

Every year in June, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, or WEAAD, is commemorated worldwide. The intent is to raise awareness about the millions of adults who experience elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

According to Diedra Shubert, director of education and outreach for Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation, statistics show that every year, 1 in 10 seniors will be a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Yet these crimes are notoriously underreported. Each year, the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation works with several local agencies to provide information and resources to local seniors, their family members, and caregiving professionals. The goal is to encourage people to speak out against elder abuse and advocate for the rights of older adults.

This June 15, Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation will host its 14th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) community event. It will run from 9 a.m. to noon at the Space Coast Health Foundation in Rockledge. The event is free and open to the public.

The primary focus for WEAAD 2023 is helping seniors protect themselves from financial exploitation — most self-reported type of elder abuse. Guest presenters Ruth Rhodes, Esquire of Rhodes Law PA and Rachel Sadoff from the Clerk of Courts of Brevard County will share how people can best protect themselves from financial exploitation and what to do if they think they may be a victim.

“With today’s technology, it’s so much easier to scam someone. You may get an email from an account you have, like Amazon or Netflix, and you just click the link and it takes over,” Shubert said. “But unfortunately the statistics show that most of the time, the perpetrators are family members or people in trust who are taking advantage of seniors.”

Oftentimes, seniors or their caregivers don’t know where to turn if they think they are victims of abuse. They may even be unsure what qualifies as elder abuse. The annual WEAAD event offers local companies and provider agencies an opportunity to highlight what they do best, while at the same time bringing attention to the issue of elder abuse prevention.

“If you or a loved one is the victim of abuse, the first place you always go is the elder abuse hotline to make the claim 1-800-96ABUSE,” Shubert said. “From there, you will be given the next steps and be directed to the proper agencies to report your claims. 

“Everyone can help by becoming more aware through education, finding those resources, and then sharing those resources with their neighbors and friends. The resources are out there, but people don’t know about them. The more we can get the word out, the more we will be able to help each other.”


For more information, visit worldelderabuseawareness.com/central-florida-elder-abuse-program/
Call 321-253-4430 Ext. 104 to register to attend on June 15, space is limited.
All attendees will receive a ticket for a door prize. 

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