June is National Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and June 14 is Flag Day. In recognition of both, the Wood County Department of Job and Family Services, the Wood County Committee on Aging, and the City of Bowling Green are partnering to hold an event for the community.
This joint event will take place on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Wood County Senior Center, 140 S. Grove St. Attendees are encouraged to wear purple for elder abuse awareness.
The event will kick off with Flag Day recognition beginning at 10 a.m. with a pause for the Pledge, and a Flag Day proclamation from the office of the Bowling Green mayor. The presentation in recognition of Elder Abuse Awareness will begin following the Flag Day festivities and will include featured speaker Paul Dobson, Wood County prosecutor, and proclamations from several local elected officials.
Following the presentation, attendees are invited to visit with representatives from several local community resources that will be in attendance and enjoy light refreshments.
In Wood County there were 310 reports of elder abuse, neglect, self-neglect and/or exploitation in 2022: which is consistent with the 318 reports from 2021, and still up from the 251 reports in 2020.
Reports of elder abuse are expected to continue to rise as the population of those 60 years of age and over continues to grow.
Some indicators of elder abuse may include an older adult appearing fearful, anxious, or isolated. There may be physical injuries, or it may appear that the person is neglecting his or her personal care. Other indicators might include missing possessions, financial transactions that are out of the ordinary or sudden changes to a will or property title. Risk of abuse can be mitigated by making certain financial, medical and legal affairs are in order, also by checking in with those at risk elders.
If you suspect abuse of an older adult, call Wood County’s Adult Protective Services hotline at 419-354-9669 to make a report. The line is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.