The Pulaski County Elder Abuse Council is among three community groups which recently received awards from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to help their efforts to stop elder abuse.
CHFS presented Judi Candido, vice chair of the local council, with a $500 Public Awareness Initiative Award for their outreach projects over the past year at a June conference focusing on elder abuse prevention.
“It was truly an honor for the Pulaski County Elder Abuse Council to be recognized by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services as one of the three award-winning council across the state,” chairman Brian Jaggers stated.
In its nomination materials, the Council called itself “small but mighty.” Covering only this county (most councils are regional), the group hosted its second annual Elder Abuse Conference in June, which attracted about 100 people and featured speakers on law enforcement, the legal system, hospice care, health care and the state’s adult safety program. Jaggers said smaller events are planned in the next few monts to assist other agencies and provide additional educational opportunities.
Members have helped the community work toward a HeartSafe designation by visiting schools, businesses and health care/sports facilities to promote heart health and elder abuse prevention. Once achieved, this designation marks the community having achieved certain criteria for responding to cardiac events.
They also sponsored the Pumpkins on Main decorating project last October — raising more than $250, the proceeds of which were donated to God’s Food Pantry to provide nutritional supplements for elders in need. Over the holidays, the council sponsored 12 needy elderly people with clothes and food from its Elderly Angel Tree project.
“Our goal is to make a positive difference in the community,” Jaggers stated. “We work with other agencies such as God’s Food Pantry and Operation Unite. The council consists of members from each of the Pulaski County health care facilities, several home health care agencies, members of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and support from Kentucky State Police, Pulaski County Sheriff, Somerset Police, Burnside Police, as well as local attorneys and private citizens. Members and supporters of the council participate routinely to promote a focused awareness and provide education related to scams, abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.”
The council is part of the state’s network of 24 Local Coordinating Councils on Elder Abuse (LCCEAs) covering 93 counties. Councils involve local law enforcement, county officials, advocates, nursing homes, businesses, social service agencies and individuals. CHFS provides administrative support to the network.
Also honored by the state for their initiatives were the the Kentucky River Council Against the Maltreatment of Elders (Breathitt, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Owsley, Perry and Wolfe counties) and the Northern Kentucky Elder Maltreatment Alliance (Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton counties).
“Elder abuse and neglect has risen to such a level of concern that these councils have become crucial resources for local education and prevention,” CHFS Deputy Secretary Judge Timothy Feeley said. “Through their resourcefulness and collaborations, their projects are teaching respect for elders and saving lives. I commend their community efforts over the past year.”
Kentucky received more than 30,000 calls to report abuse, neglect and exploitation of people 60 and older for the state fiscal year 2015. The toll-free reporting hotline is 1-877-KYSAFE1 (597-2331).
Learn more about the councils and recognizing the signs of elder abuse online at chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/eaa.
The Pulaski County Elder Abuse Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Somerset Housing Authority Office, 400 Hail Knob Road.
For more information, contact Chairman, Brian Jaggers at 606-677-0891 or Vice Chair, Judi Candido at 606-677-4086 or contact us through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PulaskiElderAbuseCouncil/.
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Local elder abuse council honored by state