By CHRIS COTELESSE
Krishmu Shipmon, administrator for the Mahoning County Job and Family Services’ Adult Protective Services Division, has been raising awareness about elder abuse since the agency began recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in 2006.
The sixth-largest population of Ohioans 65 and older lives in Mahoning County. Shipmon said issues affecting the elderly and events like this teach the wider community.
“If we talk about it, if we put it on the forefront, someone will think about it,” she said.
Francine Vasquez, income maintenance aide with Adult Protection Services, helped with Friday’s event at Oakhill Renaissance Place on Oak Hill Avenue and the previous six because she likes helping people.
“The more I learn, the more I can help others to learn. And then they can help others and on and on,” she said.
Vasquez said elderly people’s issues aren’t felt by the younger population because they don’t see them. They don’t live the same lives as elderly people who feel the issues every day.
That’s why state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, showed up on Friday. He said people know about child abuse and animal abuse, but they need to be reminded about elder abuse.
“This is an issue, and it’s something that needs to be addressed every day, not just on this day,” Schiavoni said.
Shipmon said even the young should pay attention to the neglect, abuse and exploitation of the elderly because everyone grows old if they’re lucky enough.
“They [the elderly] are the backbone of our society. They led the way for us,” Shipmon said.
The NewsOutlet is a joint media venture by student and professional journalists and is a collaboration of Youngstown State University, WYSU Radio and The Vindicator.