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May 7, 2003

ULM's Institute of Gerontology Provides Useful Information During Elderly Abuse Prevention Month

May is Older Americans' Month and is also designated "Elder Abuse Prevention Month". During this month, the Institute of Gerontology and the Gerontology Graduate Program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe is conducting a statewide informational campaign to inform the community about the abuse of vulnerable adult populations. Monroe Elderly Protective Services, United Way of Northeast Louisiana, and the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence also support this campaign

James Bulot, Assistant Professor of Gerontology at ULM, is assisting in sending out hundreds of packets of information. This information ­ including ways to spot elderly abuse- will go to parish law enforcement agencies, nursing homes, and other organizations that come in contact with the elderly. The information will also be going directly to the seniors.

"The purpose of the campaign is to help bring the tragedy of elder abuse to the attention of Louisiana's citizens and to inform professionals who work with the elderly on the role they play in combating elder abuse. Sometimes abuse happens and the elderly don't even know they are the victims," said James Bulot, ULM Assistant Professor of Gerontology.

Bulot also said, "There are approximately 4,000 cases of elder abuse reported
each year in Louisiana. Unfortunately, most experts agree that about 85% of
all elder abuse cases go unreported to either law-enforcement or Elderly
Protective Services." One of the primary reasons given for under-reporting is
the lack of public awareness. We are hopeful that this campaign raises
awareness of elder abuse in Louisiana and informs those individuals who are in
a position to make life better for the vulnerable elderly."

"We would also like to particularly thank Monroe Elderly Protective Services for the information and support they have provided to the Institute. Thank you for your assistance in breaking the silence regarding elder/adult abuse. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you to help stop the hurting," Bulot said.

This informational campaign is made possible from a grant received by the Institute of Gerontology from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, Generations Together, and the Corporation for National and Community Services.

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