TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- The Department of Elder Affairs encourages Floridians to wear purple on Friday, in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
Department staff say they'll be dressed in purple, and will be urging others to join the cause.
Gov. Rick Scott has declared June 15 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Florida, an occasion to focus on building safer communities for Florida's almost 4.5 million seniors.
Friday marks the seventh annual celebration of the international recognition.
It is estimated that every year 2.1 million older persons in America become victims of elder abuse.
Experts believe the incidence of elder abuse is widely under-reported, and that for each reported case of elder abuse, 14 additional cases go unreported.
In the last 12 months, Florida had 31,241 reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect involving elderly victims, an average of 86 incidents per day, seven days a week.
Nationwide, almost 90 percent of all elder abuse occurs in a domestic setting, usually by someone the victim knows.
The goal of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is to raise awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic factors that affect elder abuse and neglect.
At the Department of Elder Affairs, the Elder Abuse Prevention program works to educate all citizens including seniors, caregivers, family members, and professionals who come in contact with seniors.