Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce


NORTHAMPTON, MA:  June 15, 2011 will mark the 6th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  This worldwide effort seeks to raise awareness of elder abuse, neglect and self neglect.  Elder Abuse is a serious problem in our society and more and more cases are being reported each day.  Elder abuse comes in many different forms and with today’s economy; cases of eviction and financial exploitation are increasing.  Many elders suffer in silence because of family dynamics that prevent then from having a voice.  This was evident recently when Mickey Rooney testified in front of congress as a victim of elder abuse.

To help promote and raise awareness, you can show your support by:

  • Wearing something purple the week prior to and on June 15, 2011
  • Asking someone, over the age of sixty (60), if they feel safe from abuse.  If not, please call Highland Valley at (800) 322-0551 or (413) 586-2000 to make a report. 

Easthampton Savings Bank (ESB) has been instrumental in working to stop financial exploitation of elders.  ESB is committed to this effort and works collaboratively with Highland Valley Elder Services staff to identify loss of assets and how they were lost and how to protect the assets from further exploitation. 

On Friday morning at ESB’s Locust Street Office, William S. Hogan Jr., President and CEO of Easthampton Savings Bank, was presented with a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Highland Valley Elder Services that acknowledged ESB’s ongoing contribution to help promote awareness of elder abuse.  Hogan said, “Our commitment to Elder Safety is a constant priority.  Our staff is trained to identify and recognize possible warning signs to ensure the wellbeing of our customers.  Needless to say, we take this very seriously.”

 Three ESB employees were personally recognized for their efforts in identifying and preventing elder abuse.  Julie Ouimette, Senior Branch Officer of ESB’s Southampton Office, Angela Ellison, Assistant Branch Manager of the Southampton Office, and Katrina Dziedzic, Senior Branch Officer of the Westfield Office, received letters of recognition that highlighted their outstanding contributions in helping stop elders from being financially exploited.  Sherry Bell, Highland Valley Elder’s Protective Services Program Director said, “By understanding and being able to identify the warning signs, you have helped to make a difference in the lives of many elders.”

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