Tempe community panel to join fight against elder abuse

Approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse, with estimates ranging as high as five million affected each year.

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Tempe Councilmember Berdetta Hodge, joined by Mayor Corey Woods, will be calling attention to the problem at a community breakfast scheduled Saturday, June 15, that coincides with the national observance of Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Hodge plans to focus her comments on the seven types of elder abuse as well as how to avoid becoming a victim.

Said Hodge: “I’m honored to be hosting this important event with experienced public safety leaders from city of Tempe and Maricopa County, joined by Linda Arters, an elder justice advocate and Tempe resident.

“We need to shine a bright light on the prevalence of elder abuse as the ‘silent crime’ that robs our seniors of their dignity, health, financial security and, in some cases, their lives.”

The one-hour event features a panel discussion about recognizing, preventing and reporting elder abuse, followed by a Q & A.

In addition to Woods and Arters, Hodge will be joined by panelists including Assistant Tempe Police Chief Dane Sorensen; Interim Tempe Fire and Medical Rescue Chief Darrell Duty; Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff James McFarland; Deputy County Attorney Jared Price of the Family Violence Division; and Deputy County Attorney Mary Harriss of the Fraud Division of the chief attorney’s office.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that Woods other city officials have recognized the day of awareness.

Proclamations and community events have promoted education and resources to help protect Arizona seniors.

According to planners, elder abuse statistics are staggering. One in 10 Americans ages 60 and older have experienced some form of abuse, yet only one in 14 cases come to attention of authorities.


  • Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated.
  • Belittling, threats or other uses of power and control by individuals are signs of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • For each case of financial exploitation, 44 cases go unreported. Studies today estimate losses of $36.5 billion and growing to $2.5 trillion by 2035.
  • Elder abuse is not just physical, it can be emotional and psychological, neglect, sexual, isolation, undue influence and financial and material exploitation.
  • Older adults may become vulnerable due to isolation, physical or mental disabilities and dependence on others for assistance. Most perpetrators of elder abuse are family members.

The program featuring Hodge, Woods and other officials is scheduled 9-10 a.m. June 15 at Friendship Village, Tempe.

Reservations: Cepand_alizadeh@tempe.gov or 480-350-8597. Details: tempe.gov/Hodge.

The program is scheduled 9-10 a.m. at Friendship Village, Tempe.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.




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