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Part I: Elder Abuse Conference Opens Dialogue, Creates Awareness

Published 11-17-2011 8:59 AM | Mark D. Birdwhistell  

 

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One to two million adults over the age of 65 are estimated to be abused, neglected or exploited every year. The grave issue of elder abuse is often overlooked; however, on Monday, November 14, this important topic was at the forefront of discussion during the UK Justice Center for Elders and Vulnerable Adults fall 2011 conference, "Broken Trust-Elder Financial Abuse."

UK HealthCare, UK College of Public Health and Thomas P. Dupree, Sr., were presenting sponsors for the conference which featured a wide array of legislators, university experts and community activists with vested interests in preventing elder abuse crimes. The star of the show was actor Mickey Rooney who was telecast from Los Angeles to share his recent public battle against elder abuse (more on Mickey Rooney's presentation will be in my next blog post, so be sure to check back for that)!

I had the opportunity to moderate the 'Financial Abuse and Political Perspectives' panel which consisted of Kentucky "icons" in policy and prosecution. I was joined by Kentucky State Representative Jimmy Lee; Fayette County Commonwealth Attorney Ray Larson; Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Traci Caneer and Director of Victims' Services Mary Lynn Houlihan.

This excellent panel discussion merged policy and politics and gave all attendees an opportunity to learn from the practices that have been successful in fighting elder abuse and what still needs to be done. Elders are some of our most vulnerable citizens. It is our duty to protect them. To do this we need to continue to lobby for legislation and advocate for more funding in the fight against elder abuse.

Thanks to all of those who came out to UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital Pavilion A for this event. It was yet another event that exemplifies our mission to create a healthier, happier Kentucky.

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Mark D. Birdwhistell with Kentucky State Representative Jimmy Lee; Fayette County Commonwealth Attorney Ray Larson; Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Traci Caneer and Director of Victims' Services Mary Lynn Houlihan.

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Mark D. Birdwhistell with Rep. Jimmie Lee and Ray Larson

 

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