I always love it when I get a well-intended press release in my inbox that someone should have read twice.
A press release like the Colorado Springs Police Department one I got today concerning the "community celebration" of "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day."
Um, guys. Not sure this is one of those holidays that you celebrate. Observe solemnly, yes, but celebrate? No.
For the full experience, I'll list the entire release for you below. But while a part of the text is certainly laughable, let's not forget that abuse of our senior citizens certainly isn't.
June is International Elder Abuse Awareness month, with June 15th commemorating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. To raise awareness of elder abuse in our community, the local Coalition Against Abuse in Later Life (CALL) is planning a community celebration at 5:30p.m. on June 15th at El Pomar Foundation, Penrose House, 1661 Mesa Avenue. State Senator John Morse is confirmed to speak and several other community leaders are expected. Members of the public are welcome to attend and learn more about local efforts to address the problem of elder abuse.
The event is a collaborative effort of CALL and will include remarks from Colorado Springs Police Chief Richard Myers, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, El Paso County Department of Human Services Director Rick Bengtsson, District Attorney Dan May, TESSA Executive Director Connie Brachtenbach, and Silver Key Senior Services President and CEO David Shaffer.
The current elder population (age 60+) in El Paso County is about 87,000 people, and projected to reach 145,000 by 2020. (2008 Pikes Peak United Way QLI report). CSPD reports over 2500 crimes per year with elderly victims, ranging from physical abuse and neglect to financial exploitation. This population is vulnerable based on declining physical and mental capacity, and increasing dependence on others for help. The potential for increased episodes of elder abuse as this demographic grows is significant, and the current economic climate only exacerbates the opportunities for victimizers. As a community, we are taking steps to address the issue; the Pikes Peak Coalition Against Abuse in Later Life works toward building stronger collaborative efforts to address and prevent the problem.
For more information, the public may contact Cari Karns, 719-884-2377.