Chautauqua County WEAAD Activities Planned

 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was yesterday, June 15th, 2021, and during the entire month of June, communities around the world work together to promote an understanding of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. The Center for Elder Law & Justice is proud to partner with the Chautauqua County Council on Elder Abuse and its local agency partners to highlight the topic of elder abuse at a press conference.

Center for Elder Law & Justice Supervising Attorney Nicole Parshall will be joined by County Executive Paul M. Wendel, Jr., Commissioner of Health & Human Services Christine Schuyler, District Attorney Jason Schmidt, Assemblymember Andy Goodell, and the Office of Senator George M. Borello in a press conference to highlight the importance of this issue. The press conference will take place on June 17th at 3:00 PM at the Chautauqua County Court House, 3 N. Erie Street, in Mayville. 

The theme of this year’s campaign is “Reach Out, Speak Out,” encouraging people to check in with seniors, who have been particularly isolated during the past 15 months. The partner organizations involved are making a concerted effort to highlight the issue of elder abuse, and what resources are available to older adults. Thanks to Meals on Wheels, information about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and community resources is being delivered to meal recipients. The informational rack card features the winning drawings by school children of Northern Chautauqua Catholic School: Gabriel Chase, Julia Askar, and Mikaela Sciarrino, created in honor of the day. Any school or other organization that would like to participate in the Caring Cards Cahallenge by sending in their hand-drawn cards can do so year-round, by contacting the Center for Elder Law & Justice.

Assemblyman Andy Goodell said, “The United Nations General Assembly had it right when they designated a day for World Elder Abuse Awareness. It is heartbreaking that this is even an issue. With greater awareness and education, we all can do a more thorough job of recognizing and addressing elder abuse. Our seniors deserve our respect and help to provide a healthy, dignified life. We are so fortunate to have amazing elder resources right here in our county and Western New York.  Contact them if you suspect elder abuse. Let each of us do our part to protect and care for this most vulnerable population.”

“World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is about making it clear that safeguarding adults, especially our seniors, is everyone’s responsibility,” said Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County Director of Health & Human Services. “It’s more important than ever to pay attention to warning signs of adult abuse, neglect, self-neglect and financial exploitation and to reach out and report it.”

Dr. MaryAnn Spanos, Director of the Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services said, “Our agency knows firsthand how vitally important it is for people to be aware of elder abuse. We advocate for the rights of seniors by providing programs and services to keep them safe and healthy, and living in the community through the end of life. If you are in need of assistance, you can reach out to Chautauqua County NY Connects at (716) 753-4582, where we will connect you to legal resources if you have been exploited or taken advantage of.”

Karen Nicolson, CEO of Center for Elder Law & Justice stated, “The last year has been especially challenging for older adults, particularly those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, and their families. Unfortunately, the increased isolation also means that abusive situations were reported even less than in normal times. We hope that the activities surrounding World Elder Abuse Awareness Day will encourage people to check in with friends and loved ones. Please contact our office or your local Adult Protective Services office if you believe someone may be a victim of abuse.”

The Center for Elder Law & Justice is proud to partner with these local agencies and organizations to bring awareness to this important issue. Please contact Shana DiCamillo, Director of Development & External Relations with any questions at: / (716) 853-3087 x 277.


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