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Weld County takes a stand against elder abuse

Posted on 06/16/2020
Weld County takes a stand against elder abuse

Yesterday, in conjunction with the United Nations and prevention organizations around the globe, the Board of Weld County Commissioners proclaimed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). WEAAD unites communities around the world and raises awareness about the millions of older adults who experience abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Research indicates that one in 10 older adults in the United States are abused each year, and only one in 14 cases of elder abuse are ever reported. A combination of social, economic and psychological factors contributes to elder abuse. The main risks are related to social isolation, lack of access to support and resources, and physical, mental or emotional dependence.

“Elder abuse is a public health and human rights issue,” said Jamie Ulrich, Director of the Department of Human Services. “This proclamation serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Weld County’s older adults are valued members of society, and it’s our collective responsibility to ensure they live safely and with dignity.”

At Monday’s board meeting, the entire Weld County Adult Protective Services (APS) staff was in attendance. Each rose when their name was called and received a round of applause in recognition of their tireless work within the community of advocating for the protection of the county’s older and vulnerable adults.

“We have an amazing APS team at the Area Agency on Aging that does a tremendous job for our aging population,” said Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, Coordinator for the Department of Human Services. “You ensure our older adults are able to live and thrive in our communities, making Weld County that much more vibrant. We can’t thank you enough for contributing to improving their safety and well-being.”

Weld County encourages anyone concerned about the safety and well-being of any at-risk adult in Weld County to report to local law enforcement or to the Weld County Adult Protection Hotline at (970) 346-7676. All reports to APS are confidential, including the name of the party who reports the alleged abuse or neglect.

Education and awareness are vital components to the disruption and prevention of elder abuse. APS provides community education on the mistreatment and self-neglect of at-risk adults. Any organization in Weld County interested in scheduling a training can contact the APS Program Supervisor, Jill Colavolpe, at (970) 400-6109. For more information about the Weld County Area Agency on Aging, please visit www.weldaaa.org.