(JEFFERSON CITY) – Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson is encouraging all Missourians to observe Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15. The day is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action that recognizes the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. The color purple has been adopted as the symbol to raise awareness of elder abuse and the effects of abuse, neglect, bullying, and exploitation in later life.

“It is concerning to hear over five million older Americans are victims of elder abuse each year and for every one case that is reported, as many as 23 go unreported on average,” said Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, Missouri’s Official Senior Advocate. “Missouri is home to over 1.3 million seniors, and the number of elder abuse cases in our state rises each year. In 2016, the Department of Health and Senior Services received and investigated 40,198 reports of abuse, neglect, bullying, and exploitation involving seniors and adults with disabilities living in the community and in facilities. That amounts to an average of 110 reports every day. I would encourage all Missourians to celebrate seniors in their community, but more importantly to report cases of elder abuse to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services,” Parson said.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services receives and investigates reports of abuse, neglect, bullying and exploitation of vulnerable seniors and adults with disabilities. Anyone who suspects a senior or disabled adult in Missouri of being abused should call the Department’s Adult Abuse and Neglect toll-free hotline, 1-800-392-0210.