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Denver Human Services Joins World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Efforts

Local involvement part of worldwide effort to stop abuse, neglect, and exploitation of at-risk adults

DENVER – Denver Human Services (DHS) is joining forces with the Denver Police Department, the District Attorney’s office, and the City Attorney’s office for several initiatives planned around World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

“Learn the Signs, Break the Silence, and Speak Up!” is the citywide message of this year’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, designated as Thursday, June 15. Denver’s partnering agencies are advancing that theme by distributing informational pamphlets to seniors and others through Meals on Wheels and various community outlets.

“The abuse, neglect and exploitation of our older adults is an ongoing issue which can be addressed through awareness and vigilance,” DHS Executive Director Don Mares said. “Making seniors and those who care for them aware of what constitutes abuse and what steps to take to stop it is the first step in providing the safety and respect that they deserve.”

Nearly 2,000 reports of mistreatment of at-risk adults were received by DHS’ Adult Protective Services in 2016.

Additional citywide efforts in support of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day include:

  • Volunteers from the four agencies will deliver meals to seniors and others through Volunteers of America’s Meals on Wheels program. Each meal will have an accompanying information packet with details on how to recognize and report elder abuse.
  • Staff from the collaborating city agencies are scheduled to answer questions from the public about elder abuse on KUSA-TV’s Channel 9 line (303-698-0999) on Thursday, June 15, from 4-5:30 p.m.
  • DHS is encouraging everyone in the community to join in drawing attention to elder abuse by wearing purple on Thursday, June 15.

DHS is also one of the primary sponsors of the 28th annual Salute to Seniors/Creative Aging event, June 24 at the Colorado Convention Center.

To report suspected elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, call the DHS Adult Protection hotline at 720-944-2994. Mandated reporters needing to report mistreatment of an individual over 70 or with an intellectual/ developmental disability should direct reports to Denver Police at 720-913-2000.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse.