Senior Day is celebration, awareness in one event
June 11, 2021
Sometimes, to draw attention to a darker issue, it helps to bring a little honey too.
That’s what Cloquet’s Starr Marshall — who works with senior citizens almost exclusively in her job with Reliable Insurance Agency — did by creating Senior Day in Cloquet.
Running 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, at Veterans Park in Cloquet, Senior Day is a time to celebrate our senior citizens. This year Senior Day organizers will do that with music, prizes, free beverages and cookies along with numerous vendors sharing information about health issues, services, and selling items of interest to our older citizens. There will be lots of food, some free and some for purchase. Florian and Patty Chmielewski will perform their popular polka music throughout the day. Alan Johnson Photography is bringing a free photo booth.
“We want seniors to know they’re valued in this community, and supported,” Marshall told the Pine Knot News in an interview earlier this month, adding that 100 gift bags will be given out to the first 100 guests Tuesday.
But June 15 also marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. While child abuse and domestic abuse get more attention, elder abuse is very real.
According to the National Council on Aging, approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60 or older has experienced some form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as five million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated that only one in 14 cases of abuse is reported to authorities.
Abusers are both women and men. In almost 60 percent of elder abuse and neglect incidents, the perpetrator is a family member. Two-thirds of perpetrators are adult children or spouses.
Marshall said she wants older citizens and others to know what to look for, and what to do in cases of elder abuse. As part of the event, WKLK will be broadcasting live, and Marshall said there will be public service announcements on warning signs and what to do in cases of abuse.
But mostly Tuesday is about getting together after a long dark pandemic year. Marshall said she had 13 clients die during the pandemic, not all of them of Covid, but all were affected by the pandemic and its restrictions.
“The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone,” she said. “It was the worst for our seniors. They didn’t get to hold babies or see their grandchildren. They died alone.”
Those who choose to come to Senior Day will have access to a number of community resources valuable to older citizens. Organizations that have committed to being there include Senior LinkAge Line, Carlton County Public Health, Community Memorial Hospital, Adult Protection Services, Senior Reporter/Resources, Superior YMCA and Silver Sneakers, the Pine Knot News, County Seat Theater, the Cloquet Public Library, and many others. There will be multiple food trucks and homemade treats, crafts for sale, free advice on legal issues, financial services, health plans and more.
So she’s hoping for sunshine and pleasant temperatures on Tuesday, so older residents can bring loved ones to the park to enjoy a bit of a party, on this second annual Senior Day. All ages are welcome. Marshall promised they won’t be carding anyone.
If you don’t have transportation, don’t worry. Arrowhead Transit will provide free bus rides to and from the event for those who call (800-862-0175) at least an hour ahead for a ride.
“People need to get outside and they need to socialize,” Marshall said. “Bring the grandkids, bring a friend, bring a picnic lunch or buy one. Enjoy the music. Find out what’s available. Breathe the fresh air. It will be a great day.”
Hosted by Reliable Insurance and Northwoods Credit Union, this will mark the second Senior Day. Marshall said the event will happen rain or shine.
Senior Day in Cloquet
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 15
• Veterans Park in Cloquet
• Need a free ride? Call Arrowhead Transit at 1-800-862-0175 at least an hour ahead.
Every year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated in America and around the world to raise awareness of older adults who experience elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Older Americans are vital, contributing members of our society and their abuse or neglect diminishes all of us.
What is it?
Elder abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Perpetrators include children, other family members, and spouses—as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities.
Physical abuse means inflicting physical pain or injury upon an older adult.
Sexual abuse means touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.
Emotional abuse means verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation.
Confinement means restraining or isolating an older adult, other than for medical reasons.
Passive neglect is a caregiver’s failure to provide an older adult with life’s necessities, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
Willful deprivation means denying an older adult medication, medical care, shelter, food, therapeutic device, or other physical assistance, and exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm—except when the older, competent adult has expressed a desire to go without such care.
Financial exploitation means the misuse or withholding of an older adult’s resources by another.
If an older adult is in immediate, life-threatening danger, call 911. Anyone who suspects that an older adult is being mistreated should contact a local Adult Protective Services office, Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or police. More information is available from the Eldercare Locator online or by calling 1-800-677-1116.
— Information courtesy of the National Council on Aging