In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Maryland Protect Week, leaders of the Montgomery County Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Task Force will host the 12th Annual County Senior Safety Forum from June 13-16. This year's forum, which can be joined online or viewed on live stream at County senior centers, will be a series of informative and fun sessions discussing “Staying Connected Safely.”
According to data from the National Institute on Aging, loneliness and being disconnected can have adverse physical and mental impacts on seniors. In addition to this year’s Senior Safety Forum, the County has made an effort during the COVID-19 health crisis to reduce senior isolation. The County released a fact sheet and hosted a 2021 Commission on Aging forum on countering social isolation.
The multi-day event is sponsored by the County’s departments of Health and Human Services and Recreation; the Fire and Rescue Service; the offices of Consumer Protection, County Attorney and State's Attorney; ElderSAFE Charles E. Smith Life Communities; and the Family Justice Center Foundation.
Each session will include active audience participation through music, yoga, meditation and question and answer opportunities. Residents can participate in each session virtually or at in-person viewing parties hosted at County senior centers.
“We want to make sure that we are a community where people of all ages can thrive and learn,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We have a growing older adult population, and we are pleased to host our Senior Safety Forum to provide the tools residents need to stay safe. More than 3.5 million older adults are cheated out of more than $3 billion each year at an average loss of $34,200. This is unacceptable. I encourage older residents to attend the forum to help them learn to identify scams, protect their identity and learn how to report this predatory behavior. Prevention is paramount when it comes to protecting the lives of our older adult residents.”
The schedule of events for the Senior Safety Forum:
- Monday, June 13. 10-11:30 a.m. Opening music featuring music therapist Tom Sweitzer. “Recognizing Elder Abuse in an Increasingly Virtual World.” With Health and Human Services and the Office of Consumer Protection.
- Tuesday, June 14. 10-11:30 a.m. “Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships.” In Spanish with the County State's Attorney's Office and followed by yoga instructor Cheryl Kravitz.
- Tuesday, June 14. 12:30-1:45 p.m. “Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships.” In English with ElderSAFE and followed by yoga instructor Cheryl Kravitz.
- Thursday, June 16. 10-11:30 a.m. “Staying Connected Safely.” With State's Attorney's Office and Recreation Department.
Sign language interpreters and other auxiliary aids or services are available upon request, preferably at least three days before the event. For information or to request accommodations, call 240-777-1841 or MD Relay 711 or email WEAAD@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.
For more information about programs and services for seniors, visit the County’s Senior Site online.