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Gov calls for safer communities for our elderly residents

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

June has been declared by Governor Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga as “Elder Abuse Awareness Month”.


In doing so, the governor calls on the people of American Samoa to commit to building safer communities for our elderly residents.


American Samoa's seniors deserve to live safely with dignity, and as independently as possible, with the support they need.


Lemanu said the abuse, self-neglect, and exploitation of the elderly and disabled adults is a growing problem worldwide with the vast majority of cases going unreported; and older and disabled adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation have no boundaries and cross-racial, social, class, gender, and geographic lines; and not less than $2.9 billion dollars is taken from older adults each year due to financial abuse, scams, and exploitation.


Also, older adults who are victims of abuse or neglect are 3 times more likely to die earlier than older adults of the same age who are not abused; and disabled adults are more likely to be a victim of violence than those without a disability, while adults with mental health conditions are at nearly four times the risk of experiencing violence; and eliminating the abuse of older persons is each community‘s responsibility.


The governor said American Samoa is working to prevent the potential risk to our elder residents who may suffer from neglect and become victims of financial, emotional, or physical abuse; and local residents should be aware of signs of abuse such as physical trauma, withdrawal, depression, anxiety, and fear of family members, friends, or caregivers.


American Samoa s seniors are valued, contributing members of society, imparting a wealth of experience and wisdom in our communities.


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