In honor of Elder Abuse Awareness month, Highlands Health System held a health fair dedicated to the very important issue of elderly mistreatment. The fair kicked off with a balloon release, where numerous senior citizens from Mountain Manor participated.
After the balloon release, attendees entered the Highlands Regional Medical Center atrium for elder abuse education. Participants were informed on the range of elder mistreatment in community-living older adults. Education was presented on how elder mistreatment encompasses a variety of behaviors including emotional, financial and physical abuse, neglect by other individuals, and self-neglect. In addition, the event included instruction and literature on how to report abuse and help victims.
Cheryl Combs, Primary Therapist and Social Worker at Highlands Regional Medical Center in the Behavioral Health Unit, spearheaded the entire event and raise awareness within the community.
“It is so important that seniors in our community are safe, protected and receiving the care they need.” – Cheryl Combs
Nearly two million older Americans are believed to experience abuse each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging. But only one in five cases is reported. Elder abuse is preventable but it requires research, education, advocacy and public awareness. For more information visit the National Center on Elder Abuse at www.ncea.aoa.gov or www.HRMC.org