Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Posted Date: 6/17/2012
FIRST ANNUAL WORLDWIDE ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY EVENT
On Friday, June 15th a group of about 30 supporters gathered at the River Valley Senior Center at 13321 Red Arrow Highway in Harbert. The purpose of the get-together was to support the First Annual Worldwide Elder Abuse Awareness program.
In attendance were officials from Berrien County TRIAD, Berrien County Prosecutor Art Cotter, State Senator John Proos representative, Adam Mesinger, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Department of Human Services, Local Law Enforcement, River Valley Senior Center staff and senior members and several other Berrien county adult and senior service agencies.
Deputy Kelly Laesch, of the Berrien County Sheriff's Department, led the ceremonies by welcoming everyone and stating none of this would be possible without a strong foundation of TRIAD. TRIAD (The Right Information and Direction) is a group that gathers once a month to discuss current issues facing the senior population in our communities. Laesch stated that there are seven senior centers throughout Berrien County and each year on June 15th the Berrien County TRIAD plans to honor another senior center. Deputy Laesch then introduced Berrien County Prosecuting Attorney Art Cotter and Adam Mesinger who represented Senator John Proos who was unable to attend.
After the introduction by Deputy Laesch, Prosecutor Cotter addressed the group. He emphasized the fact that we must protect the elderly by reporting abuse that is seen or suspected. He also stated that people who abuse the elderly need to be prosecuted. Too often, offenders get away with this crime because people don't want to get involved or don't want to get family members into trouble. "This attitude needs to be changed".
Prosecutor Cotter also mentioned that publications are now available on this subject. He stated that if "you have not seen an elderly person for some time and it doesn't seem right to you, contact an official or family member so that the situation can be looked into. If you suspect abuse, call 1-855-444-3911, or local law enforcement officials and BREAK THE SILENCE".
Adam Mesinger, State Senator John Proos representative, then came forward and read the Michigan Certificate of Proclamation concerning "Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Awareness Day and Week" which was signed by Governor Rick Snyder.
A flowering pear tree was donated by the Sawyer Garden Center, and was planted in honor of the River Valley Senior Center and the event. Attendees then gathered for celebration and refreshments.
If you have any questions or would like to participate in TRIAD please contact the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Kelly Laesch, 269-983-7141 Ext: 7221 or firstname.lastname@example.org