Elder abuse is an often under-recognized and unreported problem. Research indicates that more than one in ten elders may experience some type of abuse, but only one in five cases or fewer are reported. Many times the elderly are abused by people they trust. Elders can be reluctant to report their abuse and often go without the help they need.
In Circuits 1 and 14 last year, almost 3,000 reports were received alleging abuse, neglect or exploitation of elderly or disabled adults.
Reports received by county are as follows:
Escambia - 941
Okaloosa - 374
Walton - 141
Santa Rosa - 263
Bay - 659
Calhoun - 45
Gulf - 38
Holmes - 74
Jackson - 283
Washington - 89
The events will focus on how to recognize the signs of elder abuse, how to report concerns to authorities and what people can do to prevent abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.
The events will inform communities, raise awareness of the important issue and help spread the message that elder abuse should never be ignored.
DCF urges anyone who suspects an elderly or disabled adult is being abused, neglected or exploited to report their concerns to the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.
The event will be June 15 starting at 9:30Am at St Andrews Towers located at 24 Harrison Avenue. Sheriff McKeithen is the guest speaker and he has crated a new domestic violence unit with the mission to hold the perpetrator accountable while giving victims hope, empower families, reestablish the home as a safe haven by providing effective services by partnering with DCF, Salvation army and other entities.