Forum: Impressed with cleanup volunteers
June 11, 2012 8:22PM
Updated: July 13, 2012 6:24AM
I had the opportunity to join the Illinois Water TrailKeepers, the city of Blue Island and Openlands as part of their Calumet Waterway Stewards Cleanup Day on June 2. Joining these volunteers was an eye-opener for me.
The Little Calumet River and the Cook County Forest Preserve District reflect the beauty of our region. We all need to do our part to help preserve the value that these natural areas bring to us. These areas also provide an opportunity to attract outside visitors to the region and the economic impact they bring.
To all the volunteers who worked in the hot sun, got their hands dirty and pitched in, your efforts definitely made a difference. They are stewards of our environment, and we should learn from their example to become environmental stewards on our own.
So the next time you are enjoying the forest preserves or boating on the Little Calumet River, take a moment to appreciate these organizations and their volunteers for their hard work. Great job Calumet Waterway Stewards, and we hope to have even more volunteers next year!
President, chief executive
Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
At a young age, many of us are taught to respect our elders for they have spent their lives caring for us and contributing to our society. As valued members of our community, our elders deserve the utmost care and appreciation.
Elder maltreatment is a significant public health problem. Friday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults over 60 are abused, neglected or financially exploited. In the United States alone, more than 500,000 older adults are believed to be abused or neglected each year.
These statistics are likely an underestimate because many victims are unable or afraid to tell the police, family or friends about the violence.
The health and well-being of our elderly population must be a major societal priority. We must protect their health, safety and rights and treat them the way we would hope to be treated.
There are specific factors that may indicate that elder abuse is occurring, such as untreated injuries, dehydration, weight loss or poor hygiene; sudden changes in behavior, depression and/or withdrawal in social settings; tense relationships or frequent arguments with a caregiver or a caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors; or sudden changes in financial accounts or practices.
It is time to reflect on what we are doing as a community to support our elderly. Take a stand against elder abuse because the future of our community depends on it.