06/13/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/13/2019 10:17
'Our elders, along with all people, have the right to live their lives with dignity and respect, free from abuse of any kind,' said Yvette Thomas, director of the South Dakota Department of Human Services Division of Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). 'The best way to protect elders from abusive situations is to focus on prevention--providing information, education and support.
'LTSS is dedicated to decreasing the incidence of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation by increasing education on warning signs, working with law enforcement to prevent and prosecute exploitation, and providing resources to help prevent caregiver burnout.'
Each year in the United States, an estimated 5 million older persons are abused, neglected and exploited. In addition, elders lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and medical care.
This statewide observation coincides with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.