Diocese of Orange Presents a Realistic Shocking View of
…a legal, moral and ethical dilemma
Orange, CA (January 17, 2012) – Nearly 300 ministers to the sick and homebound, laypersons in service to the elderly, and many elderly persons themselves participated in an educational workshop on Elder Abuse, at the Marywood Pastoral Center in Orange. The program, hosted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange focused on the realities of abuse of the elderly, and its prevalence in our society. Feature presenter John Aliberiti of County of Orange Social Services Agency noted, “Elder Abuse is a social problem and victims should be protected.”
In California, the elderly population (age 60 and over) is projected to increase 112 percent during the period from 1990 to 2020. The growth rate of the elderly in Orange County is expected between 100 - 150 percent by 2020. **
“The elderly deserve the right to maintain the same human dignity that God gave to us all,” states Michael Donaldson, Director of Pastoral Care at the Diocese of Orange.
“We must heightened awareness of abuse among this growing sector of our population.”
Ministries and service organizations within the Diocese of Orange provide a broad range of pastoral care to older adults experiencing all kinds of life needs and circumstances. “We hope that this presentation on Elder Abuse will serve as the impetus for implementation of more effective training and awareness programs throughout the Diocese, especially in our parishes,” Donaldson said.
Elder Abuse, known as a silent and under reported crime that often goes on right in front of our eyes, is a significant problem within the county. According to the OC Adult Protective Services (APS) Registry, between 550 and 650 reports are received each month. *** Even more shocking is that National estimates indicate only one in six elder abuse cases are reported. Approximately 10 percent of seniors are victims of abuse and the numbers are increasing annually.
John Aliberiti notes, “Abuse is not just physical,…it can be emotional and financial as well. Anyone can be a victim and may be too ashamed, embarrassed or dependent on their abuser to report it.”
This workshop provides the tools necessary to spot suspicious behavior, how to follow up and report any suspected abuse and tools for use in the personal lives and ministries of those dealing with the elderly and those who care for them.
The workshop also provided credit for Safe Environment Training for Eucharistic Ministers to the homebound and hospitals.
** Statistics by the California Department of Aging (http://www.aging.ca.gov)
*** County of Orange Social Services Agency (http://egov.ocgov.com/ocgov/Social%20Services%20Agency)
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“Where this commandment (honor thy father and mother) is accepted and faithfully observed, there is little danger that older people will be regarded as a useless and troublesome burden.” - Blessed John Paul II
Sponsored by the Offices of: Diaconate; Worship; Pastoral Care; Religious &Consecrated Life; Respect Life, Justice & Peace; Risk Management; Safe Environment; and the Orange Diocesan Council of Catholic Women