FISH OF SANCAP is Committed to Protecting Seniors

While World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was on June 15, FISH OF SANCAP is committed to protecting seniors year-round. This year’s WEAAD theme – ensuring older people’s safety in emergencies – is something FISH is very familiar with, especially in the wake of Hurricane Ian. “The safety and care of our senior neighbors is extremely important to us,” notes Erika Broyles, Senior Services Director. “We collaborate closely with our older community members to make sure they feel secure, particularly during weather-related threats. It is important for them to know we are available to assist when they feel most vulnerable.”

WEAAD was launched on June 15, 2006, by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. According to the USC Center for Elder Justice, WEAAD aims to promote a better understanding of the abuse and neglect of older people by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic, and demographic factors affecting elder abuse and neglect.[i]

The National Center of Elder Abuse reports that elder abuse is widespread. Every year an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, with research suggesting that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities. “In addition to making our seniors feel safe during emergencies, our team is well-versed on the signs of other types of elder abuse. Abuse comes in many forms, including emotional/psychological, neglect or self-neglect and financial abuse. If we notice unusual behaviors or patterns, such as increased anxiety, isolation, unpaid bills, or unattended medical needs, we can investigate further and take action to address the issue together,” continues Broyles.

FISH offers robust social support through services and programs dedicated to seniors. Their monthly Friendly Faces Luncheon lets older people and others build relationships and participate in a social gathering with neighbors, addressing isolation issues that have become more common since Ian. FISH also provides transportation to reduce social isolation and to help seniors complete daily living tasks within the community. Reassurance calls and home visits keep seniors connected and engaged, offering opportunities for FISH to spot signs of self-neglect or other needs a senior may be hesitant to discuss.

FISH is keenly focused on the unique issues and challenges pertaining to the everyday lives of seniors, including mobility, isolation, and loneliness. Through their programs, they feed both the physical and emotional needs of seniors to help them remain healthy, independent, engaged, allowing them to age in place with dignity. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from FISH Senior Services, please contact Erika Broyles, Senior Services Director at 239-472-4775 or If you suspect elder abuse in any form, contact the FL Department of Elder Affairs Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

To learn more about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and the signs of elder abuse, visit .