Elder abuse, neglect and exploitation are major concerns and the Senior Citizens Council of Greater Augusta and the CSRA will address those issues during an Elders Rights Conference on April 20.
"The CSRA Elder Rights TEAM will present our second annual conference from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion," said Kathleen Ernce, the executive director of The Senior Citizens Council and facilitator of the program.
"We had well over 200 individuals attending last year and, from all the evaluations, these individuals wanted us to continue the conference," she said. "We have well-known speakers, as well as our own local experts who will be discussing various issues." Among the presenters will be Jennifer Hogan, the coordinator of the Elder Abuse and Consumer Fraud Prevention Program with the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services; Nathanael Wright, a prosecutor in the Chatham County Sheriff's Office's Special Victims Unit with the responsibility of prosecuting cases related to elder abuse and disabled persons; and Columbia County sheriff's Lt. Patricia Champion, who works with PROJECT Lifesaver -- a wrist band worn by persons with brain disorders that allows the sheriff's office to track them using a radio frequency assigned to the bracelet.
Also presenting will be Patricia Hunt, the manager of Countryside Estates and Waverly Gardens in Evans; and Warren C. Richard Jr., the center manager and coordinator of the Senior Accessing Financial Education program for HomeFirst Augusta.
The conference will address legal issues that are becoming more prominent as demographics change.
"As people live longer, frailty and vulnerability increase, along with the potential to become victims of abuse, fraud and exploitation," said Nikki Johnson, the marketing and fundraising assistant with the Senior Citizens Council.
"Our speakers this year will address the 'Many Facets of Physical Abuse,' who are abused and who are the abusers; a panel will discuss the 'Faces of Financial Exploitation' and how the issue of abuse -- whether it be physical abuse, sexual abuse, self- or caregiver neglect, or exploitation by anyone -- impacts the person, the family, the caregivers and the community," Johnson said. "We will also learn 'The Faith Community's Role in Addressing Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.' "
Registration fees for the conference are $20 for professionals, congregations or organizations and includes lunch and conference materials. The cost is $10 for retirees and students.
More information is available by calling (706) 210-2013. The registration deadline is Tuesday.
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