Senator Gallivan Marks Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Jim Ranney

June 16, 2023

Senator Gallivan speaks at Erie County's Elder Abuse Awareness Rally.

Senator Gallivan speaks at the Elder Abuse Awareness rally.

Theme for 2023 is Age Fearlessly

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) joined federal, state and local officials in marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2023.  The event is part of a month-long effort to promote an understanding of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. The Western New York WEAAD campaign is a collaboration of New York State, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Buffalo, the Erie County Council on Elder Abuse, Live Well Erie County, and Center for Elder Law & Justice.

The theme of the campaign is “Age Fearlessly” and builds on last year’s “Reach Out, Speak Out,” by emphasizing the work and accomplishments of older adults, who have laid the foundation for our local communities. The partner organizations involved are making a concerted effort to highlight the issue of elder abuse, and what resources are available to older adults.

Seniors in our community and across New York State deserve our respect,” Senator Gallivan said.  “That includes the right to live without fear, knowing that programs and agencies are in place to support them and keep them safe. I encourage seniors and those who care for them to reach out for help when needed. We are fortunate to have numerous organizations in place to identify cases of physical, emotional and financial abuse and how to prevent them. Federal, state and local authorities are also committed to enforcing the laws put in place to protect our seniors and to hold perpetrators of such crimes accountable. Together, we can help ensure our elders live in peace, comfort and security." 

“The crime of elder abuse is complex, both because the perpetrators are often family members or those in positions of trust, and because factors such as isolation, cognitive impairments, and disabilities of survivors can make identification and intervention difficult,” said Karen Nicolson, CEO of Center for Elder Law & Justice. “This is particularly true of financial exploitation, believed to be the most prevalent and least reported form of elder abuse. We are honored to have the support of so many leaders and partners in our region who bring awareness to the issues on elder abuse and help create a safer environment for older adults in our communities. Working together to spread awareness throughout our community allows us to increase the knowledge of others and help reach those who may be afraid to speak up.”

Caring Cards are being collected from area school children to share with seniors at various locations. Any school or other organization that would like to participate in the Caring Cards Challenge can do so year-round, by contacting the Center for Elder Law & Justice. The organizations are also collaborating on a social media campaign throughout the month of June, and landmarks will be lit up in purple on June 15th, including Buffalo City Hall, Sahlen Field, The Peace Bridge, and Niagara Falls, to name a few.