Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed June 15 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in South Dakota.
Daugaard says the observance provides an opportunity for communities to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of the older population throughout the state.
An estimated 5 million older persons are abused, neglected and exploited each year in the United States. In addition, elders lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and medical care.
The statewide observation coincides with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which was launched on June 15, 2006, by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.