Walking for a cause

Published 4:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2022

Despite 95-degree weather and high humidity, a walk for World Elder Abuse Awareness went on as planned on Wednesday morning with the participants walking a mile that started and ended at the Lawrence County Courthouse.

The walk was part of the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day held in the county, said Missy Evans, a Child Services administrator. 

“We wanted to take part and have activities in our community,” she said, adding that the walk around Ironton was done to help raise awareness, which is why all the walkers wore purple shirts. 

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Besides the walk, there was a booth on the third floor of the courthouse with information and people who had questions about issues like guardianship and power of attorney could direct them to Lawrence County Common Pleas Probate and Juvenile Judge Patricia Sanders. 

ProMedica was on hand to discuss health services and the Area Agency on Aging District 7 was there to discuss the many services they have available for senior citizens.

“This is not something that has been done before and we wanted to raise awareness in our community that we do have these services and we do want to help the elder population if necessary,” Evans said. “We want to get it out there that we are present in the community.”

Also on hand was Lawrence County Adult Protective Services, which is an agency charged with protecting “the elderly who are in danger of harm, unable to protect themselves, and/or have no one else to assist them. County Departments of Job and Family Services are mandated to investigate and evaluate all reports of suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults age 60 and over,” according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Families website.

While the agency may not be well known, Evans said it receives “calls all day long.”

A worker investigates the case and if necessary, makes referrals to law enforcement and other agencies like AAA7 or a home health service after an assessment is done.

“The goal is to help families get connected to the services they would benefit from,” Evans said.

Anyone needing the services of Adult Protective Services can call 740-532-3324, extension 6341.