May 10, 2013

WHEREAS, North Carolina joins the world in recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day every June 15th; and

WHEREAS, national and international research reveals that abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable and older adults are grossly underreported; and

WHEREAS, North Carolina’s vulnerable and older adults of all social, economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds may be targets of abuse, neglect or exploitation, which can occur in families, long-term care settings and communities; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina enacted the nation’s first elder abuse law in 1973 aimed at protecting older adults and vulnerable adults age 18 to 59 with disabilities, and increasingly recognizes the need for a comprehensive system of protection for vulnerable and older adults; and

WHEREAS, protecting North Carolina’s vulnerable and older adults is a community responsibility and all citizens are charged under State law to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation to their local County department of social services; and

Whereas, in fiscal year 2012 over 21,000 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable and older adults were made to North Carolina’s 100 county departments of social services; and

WHEREAS, the Division of Aging and Adult Services partners with County departments of social services to offer a statewide Adult Protective Services Program, with area agencies on aging to increase awareness about elder abuse through its Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and with the State Attorney General’s Office and others to assist victims of telemarketing scams and other forms of consumer fraud; and

WHEREAS, by 2025, 86 of North Carolina’s 100 counties are projected to have more people age 60 and over than age 17 and younger, and 1 in 4 North Carolinians will be age 60 and older; and

WHEREAS, Mother’s and Father’s Days are national holidays intended to honor, respect, and promote the dignity and well-being of our parents;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAT McCRORY, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim May 10 – June 17, 2013 as “ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this fifth day of April in the year of our Lord two thousand and thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.