Media Advisory

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

June 12, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Stookey,
Northwest Region Communications Director
(850) 509-2675

NORTHWEST FLORIDA - The Department of Children and Families is helping to raise awareness about adult abuse and neglect in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, celebrated annually on June 15, through two local events.

Elder abuse is an often under-recognized and unreported problem. Research indicates that more than one in ten elders may experience some type of abuse, but only one in five cases or fewer are reported. Many times the elderly are abused by people they trust. Elders can be reluctant to report their abuse and often go without the help they need.

In Circuits 1 and 14 last fiscal year, almost 3,000 reports were received alleging abuse, neglect or exploitation of elderly or disabled adults. Reports received by county are as follows:

  • Escambia – 941
  • Okaloosa – 374
  • Walton – 141
  • Santa Rosa – 263
  • Bay – 659
  • Calhoun – 45
  • Gulf – 38
  • Holmes – 74
  • Jackson – 283
  • Washington – 89

The events will focus on how to recognize the signs of elder abuse, how to report concerns to authorities and what people can do to prevent abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.

Please join us as we inform communities, raise awareness of this important issue and help spread the message that elder abuse should never be ignored.

DCF urges anyone who suspects an elderly or disabled adult is being abused, neglected or exploited to report their concerns to the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.


  • When:
    June 15, 9 a.m.
  • Where:
    33 Brent Lane, Suite 104, Pensacola
  • What:
    "Take a Stand in the Fight Against Elder Abuse" hosted by Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging Inc, Aging Disability Resource Center and the Florida Department of Children and Families
  • Who:
    Guest speakers include Eric Shurger, Attorney at Law, Department of Children and Families; Carl Martin, Department of Children and Families; Judy Ertl, Seniors vs. Crime, Office of the Attorney General; Kristin Klein, Office of the Attorney General Victim Services

  • When:
    June 15, 9:30 a.m.
  • Where:
    St. Andrews Towers, 24 Harrison Ave., Panama City
  • What:
    "Elder Abuse Awareness Day Event" hosted by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the Area Agency on Aging for North Florida, the Florida Department of Children and Families and Junior Service League of Panama City
  • Who:
    Guest speakers include Sheriff Frank McKeithen, Bay County; Ron Sharpe, United Way of Northwest Florida; Mike Hill, PanCare of Florida