Hope and Justice Project is commemorating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by taking the Elder Justice Roadmap Challenge created by the National Center on Elder Abuse. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day will take place on June 15, 2015.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day serves as a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders.  The Elder Justice Roadmap was created to provide a resource for strategic planning for working with elders who are victims of abuse and violence.

“Unfortunately in many cases it is not strangers taking advantage of or harming our elderly citizens, but their own family,” says Michele Kenney, attorney for Legal Services for the Elderly, Inc.  “Especially when its family it is difficult for the elderly to reach out for help regardless of if they are being exploited financially or physically or emotionally abused or neglected.  Because of this it is imperative that the community be observant of these issues and proactive in protecting our elderly.”

Roughly 20% of people in Aroostook County are over the age of 65.  “We are dealing with a much older population now,” says Pam Palm, a member of the Grant Memorial Methodist Church in Presque Isle and Hope and Justice Project volunteer. “Elder abuse is one of those issues that needs to be brought to the forefront.  If someone is over a certain age, it’s like we ignore them.  Elders need to be seen and they need to be heard.”

Hope and Justice Project encourages other organizations to take the Elder Justice Roadmap challenge at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Get_Involved/Awareness/WEAAD/index.aspx in order to create an elder-friendly Aroostook County.

Hope and Justice Project works with anyone who has experienced or been affected by abuse or violence in Aroostook County, Maine.  For more information, visit our website at www.hopeandjusticeproject.org or email us at info@hopeandjusticeproject.org.  To speak with one of our advocates, please call our 24-hour hotline at 1-800-439-2323.  Our services are free and confidential. 

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