County Observes Elder Abuse Awareness Month

County Observes Elder Abuse Awareness Month
Pictured at last week’s commission meeting were, first row from left, Meg Marcarelli, Barbara Stevenson, Jamie Manning, Terry Whitney and Tracey Age; second row, Commissioners Josh Nordstrom), Diana Purnell and Chip Bertino and COA Director Rob Heart; and Commissioners Ted Elder, Jim Bunting, Bud Church and Joe Mitrecic. Submitted Photo

SNOW HILL –  The Worcester County Commissioners presented a proclamation declaring June Elder Abuse Awareness Month at a meeting last week.

Commissioner Diana Purnell recognized Jamie Manning, assistant director of services for the Worcester County Department of Social Services (DSS) as well as her staff.

“This proclamation touches all of us,” Purnell said. “I’d like to thank Jamie and what they do, DSS staff, because they’re always trying to be aware.”

Purnell acknowledged that there were times when people saw abuse taking place but didn’t make an effort to intervene.

“Sometimes its hard for you to step in,” she said. “This is something we need to get involved with.”

According to the proclamation presented Tuesday, nearly 2.1 million senior-age citizens in the United States are violated each year as victims of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment or exploitation.

“Together, we can prevent or end the cycle of abuse in a victim’s life through prevention, detection, and intervention by becoming aware, recognizing the warning signs, and advocating for that individual by reporting suspected abuse,” Purnell read.

Manning introduced her staff as well as representatives from the Worcester County Health Department and the Worcester County Commission on Aging.

“Without that partnership with the three agencies, we couldn’t do this alone,” she said.

She also credited Maryland Access Point, the state’s aging and disability resource program, with ensuring the needs of local seniors were met.

Manning thanked the commissioners for their support and encouraged everyone to watch for signs of elder abuse.

“Just like you said a lot of people sweep elder abuse under the rug,” Manning said. “One out of six people will be touched by that … If you see something say something.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.