On Monday, June 15, Catholic Charities invites the community to join the worldwide campaign to wear purple in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
An estimated five million, or one in 10, seniors nationally are victims of elder abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living. [singlepic id=878 w=300 h=225 float=right]
The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization of the United Nations launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006, as a way to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse.
In an effort to prevent elder abuse in northwest Ohio, Catholic Charities offers Payee and Guardianship Services to adults age 55 and older in Huron, Erie, Richland and Ottawa Counties. These programs help protect seniors from abuse and financial exploitation through managing bill payments and offering legal guardianship. Seniors and their families are able to have peace of mind knowing their loved ones and their finances are protected.
“Catholic Charities has helped me pay my bills, get my glasses and set up doctor’s appointments,” said Joyce, who was once a victim of an international money scam that financial exploited her for years. Her family contacted Catholic Charities after learning about the scam. Joyce says she enjoys her new life and now lives debt and worry-free.
“If I have a problem, I call Carol Wheeler (Catholic Charities’ Adult Advocacy Program Coordinator). She’s always ready to help,” Joyce said.
To help raise awareness about people like Joyce in our community and throughout the world, we ask for you to join us by wearing purple to show your support for helping our seniors retain their dignity and independence.
“We encourage the community to help support out elderly and protect them from abuse. It’s a much needed effort due to their vulnerability,” said Carol Wheeler.
To learn more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, please click here.
To read more about Joyce’s story, please click here.
Joyce, a retired Erie County resident, lived on a farm with a four-bedroom home. She claimed the house was big enough to fit a party of 100 people in the basement. But she lost it all when perpetrators of an international money scam contacted Joyce and financially exploited her for several years.
“Joyce lost her home, farm and hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of being scammed,” said Carol Wheeler, Adult Advocacy program coordinator.[singlepic id=876 w=320 h=240 float=right]
In the United States, one in 20 seniors experience some form of financial victimization with only one in 44 cases of financial abuse reported, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. Fifty-one percent of elder financial abuse is committed by a stranger to the victim.
Catholic Charities provides Payee Services to help protect seniors from scams and misuse of funds by people whom the victims trust. We manage accounts and bill payments to protect elders from financial exploitation in Richland, Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Lucas Counties. Seniors and out-of-state family members are able to have peace of mind knowing their finances are protected.
In 2012, Joyce’s son contacted Catholic Charities to arrange for help manage her finances and advocate for Joyce’s daily needs.
Since using Catholic Charities’ services, Joyce has been able to enjoy life debt free and experience new opportunities. She now lives in an independent senior citizens residential facility in Sandusky where she socializes with new friends, attends Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and enjoys the amenities available in her new neighborhood.
“I’ve been here for about two years, and I like it here a lot,” said Joyce happily. “Down the street, there is a flea market, and they have all kinds of things available for senior people.”
Joyce was selected to represent Catholic Charities at the installation Mass for Bishop Daniel E. Thomas this past October.
“The Bishop was very nice, and I told him that I was honored to meet him,” Joyce said.
She thanks Carol and Catholic Charities for allowing her to take part in the occasion and helping her maintain her day-to-day life.
“Catholic Charities has helped me pay my bills, get my glasses and set up doctor’s appointments,” Joyce said. “If I have a problem, I call Carol. She’s always ready to help.”
Thanks to your support, Joyce is financially secure and free from worry of becoming a target of scams again.