SeniorCare Inc., a Gloucester-based elder services agency, kicked off a week of rallies on Monday recognizing June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Month.
The first rally was held in Gloucester on Monday, when volunteers marched from the police station to a parking lot at the corner of Rogers Street and Harbor Loop, where they held a cookout. The event was supported by the Gloucester Police Department, the Gloucester Council on Aging, and HAWC, the Salem-based domestic violence agency.
Additional rallies are planned this week in Beverly, Ipswich, Rockport and Manchester.
Ipswich’s rally is scheduled for Thursday, June 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Five Corners, the intersection of Central and Market streets. This event is supported by the Ipswich Police Department, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, the Ipswich Council on Aging and SeniorCare.
Beverly will hold a rally in front of Beverly City Hall on Friday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. Beverly’s event is supported by the Beverly Police Department, HAWC, and the Beverly Council on Aging.
The public is invited to participate in any or all of these events.
According to SeniorCare, 10,000 people in the United States turn 65 every day, a trend that will continue for the next 20 years. Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported.
Elder abuse and neglect take on various forms, SeniorCare said. It can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual or financial, and can occur anywhere — at home or in an institution. It affects seniors across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races.
Suspected abuse or neglect can be reported to the Massachusetts Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-922-2275.