Annapolis, MD (June 14, 2023) - Anne Arundel County’s Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program will be raising awareness of elder abuse and exploitation within our county on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2023, and throughout the month of June. Throughout communities in our county, state, and all around the world, organizations and individuals will be raising awareness of the largely under-recognized and often unspoken problem of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of our older citizens who live independently as well as in long-term care. Five million older Americans are victims of abuse including neglect and exploitation. For every case of abuse reported, as many as twenty-three cases go unreported.
The LTC Ombudsman Program encourages all citizens to do their part by reporting these horrendous offenses to the police, Adult Protective Services, and the (LTC) Ombudsman Program. The LTC Ombudsman Program advocates for the safety and well-being of residents of nursing and assisted living homes by making unannounced visits on a regular basis. An ombudsman can be reached at 410-222-4257 or you can voice a concern at firstname.lastname@example.org. This can be an anonymous complaint if desired.
The good news is that we can prevent and address elder abuse. Citizens can help in their communities by visiting vulnerable neighbors and residents of LTC facilities to check in on them. Awareness can also be raised by speaking out in churches and community organizations. One of the best measurements of a community is how they advocate for and treat older adults and other vulnerable citizens. “The Department of Aging and Disabilities provides programs and support services designed to reduce the risk of isolation and abuse of older adults in Anne Arundel County,” stated Karrisa Kelly, director of the Department of Aging and Disabilities. “Our Ombudsman Program team is amazing. They work tirelessly to raise awareness of this under-reported problem of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults who live in our communities, both independently and in Long Term Care Facilities.”
The LTC Ombudsman Program will be distributing information in each county senior activity center on June 15. Information will be made available to help residents better understand what defines abuse, neglect, and exploitation. All are encouraged to pick up information at your local senior activity center and wear purple throughout the county to show support for the safety and well-being of older adults.
For more information on the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, you may call 410-222-4257 or go online at www.aacounty.org/aging. TTY users, please call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1. All materials are available in an alternative format upon request.