Governor Rod Blagojevich launched the 4th annual “Break the Silence” campaign and declared July to be Elder Abuse Awareness Month in Illinois. The campaign is designed to increase reporting of suspected abuse of elders, an increasingly challenging problem in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. “Our seniors have the right to be treated with dignity, respect, and to feel safe and secure. Unfortunately, many seniors find themselves victims of abuse and neglect which is unacceptable,” said Governor Blagojevich. “The sooner we know about a case of abuse, the sooner we can put a stop to it. But in order to keep up the fight against abuse and neglect, we need everyone to do their part. If you suspect a case of elder abuse report it. Elder Abuse prevention will help keep thousands of seniors safe each year.”
It is estimated that 80,000 elders in Illinois have been abused in some way, either physically, mentally, financially, or simply through neglect. Since the inception of the campaign, reporting of elder abuse has increased by 16%. However, a majority of incidents of elder abuse remain unreported.
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