AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John E. Baldacci declared Tuesday, June 15, Elder Abuse Awareness Day in the state of Maine.
In signing the proclamation, Baldacci recognized the efforts of state employees, as well as the staff members and volunteers at many private organizations, for their efforts to protect elderly Mainers and raise awareness about all forms of elder abuse.
At the same time, the governor and senior advocates emphasized that elder abuse frequently is misunderstood and unreported. Elder abuse includes the physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse of a vulnerable senior, or the neglect of a senior on the part of a caregiver. It is one of the most underreported and fastest-growing crimes, due to the dramatic increase in the number of seniors in our society.
Statistics collected by the National Center on Elder Abuse show that the majority of seniors are victimized by family members or other caregivers, which may contribute to cases never being reported or investigated. A significant number of cases of financial exploitation often involve a trusted individual with access to the senior’s finances.
• To report elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, contact the Department of Health and Human Services: 800-624-8404
• To report the financial exploitation of seniors, contact Maine’s Department of Professional and Financial Regulation:
Office of Securities: 877-624-8551
Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection: 800-332-8529
Bureau of Insurance: 800-300-5000
Bureau of Financial Institutions: 800-965-5235
• To seek consumer protection and mediation services from Maine’s Office of Attorney General: 800-436-2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine Long Term Care Ombudsman Program: 800-499-0229 or www.maineombudsman.org