A new event to raise awareness for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Lake Havasu City has drawn the attention of at least 125 attendees based on RSVP statistics, organizers say.
Event organizer Heather Minery, Community Relations Manager of Jasmine Place Senior Living, said Monday she is passionate about the cause and wanted to shine light on the issue in her own community after attending a similar event in Orange County, Calif., last year.
“I feel very passionate about this cause and want to encourage others and organizations across Arizona, and local communities to take a stand and raise awareness about elder abuse,” Minery said in a prepared statement.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse Administration on Aging website, the world awareness day was unveiled June 15, 2006, by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The site reports an estimated five million elderly Americans are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. However, experts believe that for every case reported there are 23 that go unreported.
The Havasu-based event is free to the community and structured with a brunch, panel presentations of industry professionals, vendor booths, Q&A, and a light lunch. The keynote speaker is Mark McKibbon, who is a licensed professional fiduciary in California and a nationally certified guardian.
Panel participants include Beth Biehn, of Hospice of Havasu; Steve Biehn, of Wachtel, Biehn and Malm; Elaine Cullen, of Better Business Bureau; Melissa Henak, of JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law; Cat Trobaugh, of Western Arizona Council of Governments; Lake Havasu City Police Department Detective B. Madsen; and Lori Spellman, of Adult Protective Services.
Elder abuse issues include isolation, abandonment, and physical abuse. Most often it centers on neglect, emotional or verbal abuse, and financial exploitation through bank scams, online scams, mail scams or fraudulent family emergency scams.
Pre-registration is required at www.havasucommunityhealth.org. With the event beginning in the morning, brunch most likely will be available, but lunch may be limited to those already registered. Walk-ins are welcome but meals are limited to the pre-registered attendants, Minery said.
Havasu Community Health Foundation was instrumental in helping organize and spread the word. Calls to Jeanie Morgan, HCH president, weren’t immediately returned.
“This is a first time event and something definitely needed here in the community,” Minery said.
The event is set for 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, at the Lake Havasu City Aquatics and Recreation Center, 100 Park Ave., in Havasu.
RiverScene Magazine/Jayne Hanson photo Heather Minery, Community Relations Manager of Jasmine Place Senior Living center in Lake Havasu City poses for a photo Tuesday.