Elder abuse

The staff of Coffee County Department of Human Resources and local officials gathered at the Coffee County DHR Thursday morning for an Elder Abuse Awareness Month proclamation. Seated are (from left) DHR Board Chairman Jerry Goodson, Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper, Coffee County DHR Director Deana Stinson, and Suezette Hatten, an adult protective services worker.

Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper on Thursday signed a proclamation declaring June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month.

Cooper was joined by representatives and staff from the Coffee County Department of Human Resources for the proclamation.

“(This is) to encourage all our citizens to recognize and celebrate the value of Enterprise seniors and their right to live safely in their community,” Cooper said. “I do this with great pride on behalf of the City of Enterprise, the City of Progress -- the only city in the world that honors a pest, and the fastest growing city south of Montgomery.”

Cooper presented the proclamation to Deana Stinson, director of Coffee County DHR.

According to Stinson, Coffee County DHR in 2018 received 157 reports -- a 15 percent increase over2017 -- from Adult Protective Services and worked over 60 ongoing elder abuse cases.

Statewide, there were 10,780 reports filed last year.

The proclamation states that Enterprise seniors are valued members of society who are guaranteed that they will be treated with respect and dignity.

“Abuse of older people is a tragedy inflicted on vulnerable seniors, and an ever-increasing problem in today’s society that crosses all socio-economic bounders,” it reads. “Combating abuse of older people will help improve the quality of life for all seniors in this city and will allow seniors to continue to live as independently as possible and contribute to the life and vibrancy of Enterprise.”

Stinson also said there is a growing need for adult foster homes in Coffee County.

“These homes can serve not only the elderly, but other adults at risk of abuse or neglect of exploitation because of disability,” Stinson said.

To become an adult foster home, contact Coffee County DHR at 348-2000.

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