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Howard County’s Office on Aging and Independence and AARP Maryland Mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with Shred Event and Workshops

May 28, 2019       

Media Contacts: 
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Ofelia Ross Ott, HCBS Division Manager, Howard County Office on Aging and Independence, 410-313-6052

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Office on Aging and Independence (OAI), in collaboration with AARP Maryland, will co-host a shred event and information day on Saturday, June 15 to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at OAI’s offices, located at 9830 Patuxent Woods Drive in Columbia. This event is free and open to the public.

“Elder abuse is an unacceptable problem we cannot, and will not, ignore,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “While elder abuse affects hundreds of thousands of people each year, only 1 in 14 cases is brought to the attention of authorities. Whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual, elder abuse is a violation of trust and basic human rights. It is our duty to protect our must vulnerable population, to prevent these forms of abuse from occurring, and to ensure we effectively address them when they do. Our event will include important workshops for keeping our older residents aware and safe so that we can build the best age-friendly community in our region.”  

Hosted by AARP Maryland, the paper shredding event will take place in the parking lot adjacent to OAI’s offices. Held rain or shine, attendees will be able to shred up to two boxes of personal documents per vehicle, no business documents, onsite. Pre-registration is required to participate; to register for a shred time, visit https://aarp.cvent.com/HowardShred.

“Every two seconds someone’s identity is stolen,” said Ofelia Ross Ott, OAI’s Home and Community-Based Services division manager. “Unfortunately, older adults are particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation. On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we want everyone to learn how to fight back against fraud so they can protect themselves and their families.”

In addition to the shredding event, the day will also feature six, 45-minute workshops, focused on various aspects of elder abuse and financial exploitation, led by the Maryland Department of Social Services’ Adult Protective Services, Howard County’s Office of Consumer Protection, Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office and Howard County Police Department. Pre-registration is encouraged for the workshops; to register, visit https://aarp.cvent.com/HowardShred

To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Maryland Access Point one week in advance at 410-313-1234 (voice/relay).  

For more information about this event and/or how you can take a stand against elder abuse in Howard County, contact Ofelia Ross Ott at the Office on Aging and Independence at 410-313-6052 (voice/relay) or visit www.howardcountymd.gov/eldersafety.

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