The Johnston County Department of Social Services will once again this year hold an Elder Abuse Awareness Walk. The event will be held on Friday, June 7th beginning at 11:00am at the agency located at 714 North Street in Smithfield. The public is invited to participate in the Silent Walk to raise awareness and prevent the elderly in our community from becoming a statistic.
In the 2017-18 fiscal year in Johnston County, over 400 cases of alleged elder abuse, neglect or exploitation were reported to the Department of Social Services. Nationwide, the direct medical cost associated with elder abuse exceeds $5.3 billion annually. And 1 in every 14 cases of abuse goes unreported because 90 percent involve family members.
Johnston County Commissioners have also proclaimed Saturday, June 15th as Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Johnston County is home to more than 21,000 residents 65 and older. The proclamation encourages everyone to watch for signs of physical abuse, withdrawal, depression, anxiety, fear and living without necessities such as food, heat, air and medicine and make it known to the proper authorities.
By 2023, DSS officials estimate there will be more adults age 65 and older in the U.S. than children.