Department encourages “Building Strong Support for Elders”
Springfield, IL – June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Month in Illinois, and the state’s Department on Aging (IDoA) is encouraging “Building Strong Support for Elders.” That’s the theme of this year’s recognition, which emphasizes the importance of strengthening our communities and preventing elder abuse.
“This is the very least we can do. We see and hear about horrible events with alarming frequency, but this is an insidious crisis that occurs every day in every part of the world.” said Jean Bohnhoff, Director of IDoA. “It’s been called a ‘silent epidemic,’ and, as our awareness campaign states, enough is enough!”
In 2017, Adult Protective Services at IDoA responded to more than 16,000 reports of suspected abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of adults with disabilities and adults 60 years of age and older. Financial exploitation represents 54 percent of elder abuse cases, and victims generally experience more than one type of abuse, i.e., financial abuse is highly associated with emotional abuse at 43 percent.
“I’m proud of the work the Department and all of our provider agencies are able to do to help victims of abuse, whether they are an older adult or an individual with a disability. Intervention saves lives,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “As age increases, so do the occurrences of abuse. And still a large number of cases remain unreported. Help us as we work to break the trends and end the abuse.”
To report suspected abuse, call the 24-hour elder abuse hotline at 866-800-1409.