Santee-Lynches Council of Governments Commemorates World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15th

Local effort to raise awareness about elder abuse and neglect in our communities


Janae Stowe, (803-774-1376)

July 20, 2020

SUMTER, SC – Elder Abuse is a growing concern around the world and as a result in 2006, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 15th of every year as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). In its declaration, the United Nations stated that this important day “represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted on some of our older generations”.

Social isolation has been identified as one of the leading factors contributing to an increased risk. In this unprecedented time of social isolation and stress throughout the world due to COVID-19, abuse incidents are higher, domestic violence has increased dramatically and crisis line calls are at an all-time high. Approximately 10% of all senior adults will experience some form of physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse. It is also believed that abuse of seniors is significantly under reported. Tragically, many will suffer in silence, fear, or shame.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santee-Lynches Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging (AAA) unfortunately was unable to host its Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Walk. In recognition of WEAAD we distributed over 600 Elder Abuse Awareness Bags to residents in facilities throughout the region. The bags contained information to help understand and prevent elder abuse. Sheila Brooks the Operations Manager II and Regional Ombudsman spearheaded the project. Brooks stated, “Elder abuse comes in many forms, every senior deserves to age with dignity and respect.”

The Area Agency on Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program seeks to improve the quality of life and quality of care of residents who live in long-term care facilities. “Although we were unable to host the Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Walk this year,” said Brooks, “I challenge everyone to uproot elder abuse, plant a seed for change. Be part of the solution and stop elder abuse.”


Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments is a premier organization committed to equipping our communities to achieve their full potential. Our mission is to deliberately collaborate purposely to enhance the quality of life and provide opportunities to advance our region. Santee-Lynches serves the counties and cities of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, and Sumter. The learn more, visit

Santee-Lynches COG is a member of the South Carolina Councils of Government (SC COGs). The SC COGs are a network of the 10 regional councils of governments working to positively affect quality of life and economic development in South Carolina. SC COGS serve as an extension of local and county governments to provide technical assistance, secure state, and federal dollars to address critical issues, and advocate at a state and national level for economic and quality of life improvements for South Carolina. To learn more, visit