One in ten older Americans are victims of elder abuse.


Staff Report

TALLAHASSEE – For the last five years, June 15 has been designated as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Recently, Florida Governor Rick Scott proclaimed the day to be celebrated in Florida and the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) recognized the day as an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults – and to take action to protect seniors by raising awareness about elder abuse.

“We have a responsibility to help protect vulnerable adults from becoming victims and help embrace community supports that foster self-sufficiency,” said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. “Elders are the foundation of our families and the backbone of our communities. We all have a responsibility to ensure they are safe and being properly cared for.”

Every year, an estimated five million – or one in ten – older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. Experts believe that for every reported case of elder abuse or neglect, as many as 23.5 percent of cases go unreported. As with many abuse cases, victims are reluctant to report abuse because they feel ashamed or embarrassed.

“Our seniors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Jeffrey Bragg. “We all have a role to play in protecting our seniors from elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Learning the signs of abuse, and what steps to take to halt it, will ensure safer communities for our seniors.”

DCF’s Adult Protective Services program promotes the safety, independence and quality of life for vulnerable adults who are either being abused or in danger of it, neglected by self or others, financially exploited, and/or who are unable to protect themselves.

Florida’s demographics are shifting and soon the United States will have more elderly people than ever before. If you suspect an elder is being abused, neglected or exploited, immediately call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873) or fill out the report online www.myf l f ami l ies .com/ ser viceprograms/abuse-hotline/report-online.

For more information about Adult Protect Services, as well as, what you can do to prevent elder abuse, visit