NCBAM helps spread word about elder abuse
    July 16 2014 by Carol Layton, NCBAM Communications

    More than 500 people gathered June 21 in Triad Park in Kernersville to participate in the third annual “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Walk.” Team members from North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) served as volunteers at the event by directing traffic, helping with set up and welcoming the walkers.
    Jennifer Harriss, ombudsman for the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC) – Area Agency on Agency, explained the importance of her agency’s partnership with faith-based groups. 


    NCBAM photo
    As part of an elder abuse awareness event, participants share goals for their life on a “Before I die I want to ...” board.

    “We especially value the partnership of NCBAM,” Harriss said. “As a faith-based organization, they help spread awareness in places where we don’t have easy access. Many times, being taken to a church event is the only outing that a homebound person has. It’s important they receive messages there about how to protect themselves from frauds and scams.”
    Sandy Gregory, director of NCBAM, agrees. “Churches with visitation ministries may often be the first or only witness to elder abuse – whether it is physical abuse or fraud,” he said. “As awareness grows, scammers are continuing to get craftier. It’s important that we be vigilant in spreading awareness messages to families and to aging adults.”
    According to Harriss, there were more than 21,000 cases of elder abuse reported in North Carolina last year. Experts believe that for every one case reported, five are unreported.
    What can you do to help prevent elder abuse? Help spread the word when you hear of frauds or scams. Offer to provide respite for an unpaid family caregiver. Be on the lookout for signs of abuse, neglect or exploitation toward aging adults in your church or community. Signs could include food insecurity, compromised decision making, unexplained bruises, or other unusual behavior. Advocate against spending cuts for home health services for aging adults. Report suspected abuse to your local department of social services – adult protective services. If you have been victimized, speak up and share your experience with others.
    “The needs are great and no one agency can do it all,” said Gregory referring to the partnership between NCBAM and PTRC.

    7/16/2014 11:39:13 AM by Carol Layton, NCBAM Communications | with 0 comments
    Filed under: elder abuse, NCBAM

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