Dear Editor:

June 15, 2020 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On that day, communities in the USA and all over the world will sponsor events to highlight solutions to this systemic social challenge. Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC) is proud to host a virtual event, “Prevent Elder Abuse-Be Part of the Solution,” on Tuesday, June 23rd   at 11:00a.m. To learn how to participate in this national conversation, please call 520-836-2758.

As Americans, we believe in justice for all. Yet we fail to live up to this promise when we allow older members of our society to be abused or neglected. Older people are vital, contributing members of American society, and their maltreatment diminishes all of us. Just as we have confronted and addressed the social issues of child abuse and domestic violence, so too can we find solutions to address issues like elder abuse, which also threatens the well-being of our community.

Societal practices make it hard for older people to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect. We can design stronger societal supports to keep our older people connected and protect them from abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical or sexual. When we address a root cause, like social isolation, we also make it less likely that people will become neglected. Older adults who are socially connected and protected from harm are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to go into nursing homes, and less likely to die.

Olivia Guerrero, President/CEO of Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens, believes that we can and must create healthier and safer living environments for older adults, including their homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. She states PGCSC is deeply committed to addressing the issue of preventing elder abuse and invites the community to get more information about how to make a difference by calling Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens at 520-836-2758.

Thank you!