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Kentucky recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with CHAMP Awards at Capitol Rotunda



FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 17, 2024)—State officials and advocates from across Kentucky gathered at the Capitol Rotunda Friday to commemorate World Elder Abuse Day, officially recognized each year on June 15. The event highlighted the ongoing efforts to protect the state’s senior citizens from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.


During the ceremony, Victoria Elridge, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Aging and Independent Living, presented the CHAMP—Champion of Adult Maltreatment Prevention—Award. This year, the Buffalo Trace Area Development District (BTADD) Agency on Aging and Independent Living was honored for its exceptional work in preventing adult maltreatment and supporting elder well-being.


“We are all here today because we know that being free from abuse and neglect is a basic human right and one that, when violated, can be detrimental,” said BTADD Longterm Care Ombudsman Amanda Grooms, who spoke during the ceremony. “Anyone can be a victim; anyone can be a perpetrator. Regardless of who is carrying out the act or where it is a crime, nonetheless, and one victim is one too many.”


In addition to the organizational award, Mary Crowley-Schmidt, Assistant Director of the Bluegrass Area Development District Agency on Aging and Independent Living, received the individual CHAMP Award. Her dedication and commitment to protecting and empowering seniors were recognized and celebrated.


The event also featured the unveiling of special commemorative pins designed by Katie Deno, Caregiver Program Coordinator at the Northern Kentucky Area Development District. Her artwork was selected to symbolize the state’s commitment to elder abuse awareness and prevention.


Kentucky Area Development Districts play a vital role in supporting senior citizens, providing essential services, and ensuring their well-being and independence. The work of these dedicated professionals is truly invaluable to our communities.

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