State of Vermont Agency of Human Services
Dept. of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living
280 State Drive HC 2 South [phone] 802-241-2401
Waterbury, VT 05671-2020 [fax] 802-241-0386
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2023
Rebecca Silbernagel, Principal Assistant, Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living; email@example.com; 802-904-3749
Waterbury, VT – The Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (DAIL) is proud to join the international community in observing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15th. WEAAD, launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations in 2006, aims to unite communities globally in raising awareness about elder abuse and promoting justice for older adults.
Elder abuse is a pervasive issue: An estimated 1 in 10 older Americans experience elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation each year. However, this statistic only scratches the surface, as experts believe elder abuse is significantly under-reported due to the lack of social supports available to victims. Research indicates that as few as 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities, highlighting the urgent need to address this silent crisis.
The key to preventing elder abuse lies in our collective action as a society. By fostering support services and dedicating community resources towards combating elder abuse, we can create a robust safety net that upholds justice for all. As we age, it is essential for our nation to recommit to the principle of justice and establish a sturdy structure of support that benefits older adults and their communities.
Vermont took a significant step forward this year with the introduction of a bill aimed at addressing elder abuse: H.171, An act relating to adult protective services, is a groundbreaking initiative that updates a statute that is nearly half-a-century old, prioritizing victims' rights and dignity in the State's efforts to protect vulnerable adults. The support garnered for these updates presents a promising outlook for the bill's successful passage this biennium.
DAIL urges individuals, organizations, and communities across Vermont to recognize the importance of this topic on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and beyond. For more information on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and resources for elder abuse prevention, please visit World Elder Abuse Awareness Day | USC Center for Elder Justice. Information about Vermont’s Adult Protective Services can be found at: https://dlp.vermont.gov/aps . For information about the kinds of abuse older Vermonters might experience, help options for victims, and instructions to report elder abuse, exploitation, or neglect, please refer to this Help Guide from the Vermont Attorney General’s Office Elder Protection Initiative and DAIL.
By raising awareness, educating the public, and supporting legislative efforts, we can collectively combat elder abuse and create a safer, more just society for older adults.
About the Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living (DAIL):
Our mission is to make Vermont the best state in which to grow old or to live with a disability - with dignity, respect, and independence.