The symbol for this administration is the pineapple. All of you are encouraged to live a “Pineapple Life”---“Stand Tall, Wear a Crown, Be Tough Outside, & Sweet Inside” .
The GFWC Signature Project is Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention. The GFWC-South Carolina President’s Special Project for the next two years will focus on one aspect of the Signature Project---Elder Abuse/Neglect Awareness and Prevention.
Abuse later in life includes the physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, of an adult age 50 or older. People 85 and older, are the fastest growing segment of the population, and are disproportionately women. Unfortunately, in most cases, the survivor is in an ongoing relationship with the perpetrator, such as a spouse, partner, family member, or caregiver. Research indicates that for every incident of abuse reported to the authorities, 23 incidents remain undiscovered. Older individuals face unique challenges when seeking assistance or services. Older survivors may refrain from seeking help due to shame or embarrassment. Professionals working with older Americans often miss signs of abuse due to a lack of training. Elders throughout the U.S. lose an estimated minimum of $2.9 billion annually due to financial abuse and exploitation. These numbers are staggering. We must support and educate our elder population and their caregivers. With so many entities playing a role, there is a growing recognition of the need for multidisciplinary collaboration.
Clubs across South Carolina will be encouraged to • Contact senior centers to hold educational programs and provide speakers and materials. • Support and plan projects during Older Americans Month in May and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15. • Create awareness during National Family Caregivers Month in November. • Distribute Elder Abuse public awareness materials at local sporting events, concerts, fairs, and grocery stores. • Learn to identify the risk factors and warning signs of abuse • Support the investigation and prosecution of Elder Abuse cases by providing funds and/or advocating for funds for training and resources to federal, state, and local investigators and prosecutors. • Enhance services to Elder Abuse survivors by improving identification of elder abuse and enhancing response and outreach to individuals who experience abuse. • Organize a collection of robes, socks, pajamas, sweatpants, and shirts to donate to senior citizen centers or nursing homes.
Promoting Project Lifesaver is also a part of the South Carolina Special Project. Project Lifesaver works with public safety personnel in almost all counties in SC. They provide high tech tracking bracelets for vulnerable adults with the tendency to wander and training on how to serve vulnerable adults they encounter. More information on Project Lifesaver during the next year.
GFWC-South Carolina Clubwomen will be Standing Tall, Wearing their Crowns, and be Sweetly, but being persistently Tough in their support of Awareness and Prevention of Elder Abuse/Neglect during the next 2 years.
In Federation Spirit,
Dr. Norma England