Elder Abuse

We saw newspaper articles and Facebook posts, blog entries and social media updates. We read, we watched and we pondered. We took a moment and thought seriously about the issue. Now we can only hope our elected officials did the same, because this problem won’t just go away.
According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Services received over 20,000 reports of neglect, exploitation or abuse in 2012 alone, with thousands more assumed to have gone unreported.
What’s more, elder abuse can come in many forms. Not just physical, but psychological, emotional and financial as well. And it’s not unheard of for the primary caregiver to be the source of the abuse.
We just can’t afford these numbers and we cannot tolerate these outcomes. It’s time our General Assembly took a serious look at these statistics and put forth meaningful legislation to combat this problem. And it’s time that we brought our seniors in on the conversation. This is not just a problem that affects “them.” This is a problem that affects “us.”
Remember: These are our loved ones. Friends. Aunts and uncles. Grandparents. Great grandparents. They deserve better, and we must endeavor to do better on their behalf.
Fortunately, we have no shortage of dedicated and hardworking officials, professionals and public servants who have made it their life’s work to end this kind of mistreatment.
Uncovering and ending elder abuse is a high priority in my campaign, and I am proud to say that I will carry that same enthusiasm into the House of Delegates this November.
So let us rededicate ourselves to keeping this important issue on our minds, not just for a single day in June, but year round. Let us make putting an end to elder abuse a priority for the other 364 days a year.

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