Today (Monday) has been proclaimed Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Johnston County. The Johnston County Department of Social Services will hold a silent walk later today beginning at the Neuse River Amphitheatre to remember victims of elder abuse.
Johnston County is the home to more than 17,000 adults 65 and older. They deserve to live safely and with dignity and as independently as possible, but sometimes that is not the case.
An estimated 1 out of 10 seniors is the victim of elder abuse. Research shows that for every 1 case that is reported as many as 23 others go unreported. Last year there were 350 cases of elder abuse reported and investigated in Johnston County.
Organizers say strides have been made in recent years to educate the public about child abuse but more work still needs to be done to get the word out about identifying, reporting and eliminating elder abuse.
The signs and symptoms include physical abuse, withdrawal, depression, anxiety, fear, and living without necessities such as food, heat, air and medicine.
To highlight the problem, the 2nd Annual Adult Abuse Awareness Walk will be held today in Smithfield. Also people can wear a purple ribbon to show their support for the cause.
The event, at the Neuse River Amphitheatre, located at 200 South Front Street, will include information, resources, and a ceremony to bring awareness to this issue. Registration begins at 5:00pm, and the kick-off ceremony will start at 5:30pm. Then at 5:45pm participants will begin a mile-long silent walk to remember victims of elder abuse. Along the greenway there will be statistics and facts to heighten awareness of this growing epidemic.