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Capitol rally to spotlight elder abuse prevention efforts

Press Release Date:  May 13, 2005
Contact:  Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 13, 2005) – The public is invited to a rally next week recognizing efforts to protect older Kentuckians.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, AARP and the Office of the Attorney General are sponsoring Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Monday, May 16, as part of Elder Abuse Prevention Month. The event will begin at 10 a.m. in the Capitol rotunda.

Members of the AARP and the state’s 30 Local Coordinating Councils on Elder Abuse (LCCEAs), as well as customers of the state’s senior citizens centers and advocates for elder protection, are expected to attend.

Eugene Foster, Ed.D., the Cabinet’s undersecretary for Children and Family Services, will emcee the event. Scheduled speakers include: Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown; Sen. Katie Stine, R-Fort Thomas; Attorney General Greg Stumbo; and Nikki Henderson, senior fraud issue specialist for the state’s AARP.

The special guest speaker will be Owingsville native Marilyn Beverly, a motivational speaker, author, volunteer and advocate for health care and senior citizens’ issues. Beverly’s family experienced elder abuse for generations.

Governor Ernie Fletcher has signed a proclamation naming May Elder Abuse Prevention Month in Kentucky. Foster will read the proclamation at the rally and present it to Bill Harned, AARP state president.

Artwork depicting elder abuse created by participants of Latitude, a Lexington therapeutic agency dedicated to helping people with disabilities gain autonomy over their lives, will be featured. A flag signed by thousands of visitors to the Cabinet’s 2004 Kentucky State Fair exhibit who pledged to do their part to keep children and senior citizens safe will also be displayed.

Following the rally is a reception on the second-floor mezzanine and an informational session that will spotlight changes to Kentucky’s elder abuse law and current scams targeting senior citizens.

In March, Governor Fletcher signed into law legislation that enhances KRS 209, the law addressing adult abuse protection. Governor Fletcher’s efforts were supported by the AARP, which had pushed for several years for the adoption of an elder abuse law in Kentucky. Lee and Stine co-sponsored the legislation.

The state’s 30 LCCEAs came under joint leadership of the Area Agencies on Aging and the Cabinet’s Adult Protective Services staff in 2002. Members include Cabinet staff, law enforcement officers, business leaders, healthcare providers and advocates for the elderly.

Councils also monitor and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of services and protection in their communities and coordinate the services of local groups that work with elder victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation. They play an important role in implementation of the elder protection law.

For more information about elder abuse prevention, log on to http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/eaa/.

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Last Updated 5/13/2005