Elder Abuse Awareness Month kicks off with pickleball tournament in ABQ

Albuquerque, NM (KKOB) — The Aging & New Mexico Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) in partnership with the Albuquerque Pickleball Club, is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Pickleball Tournament to combat elder abuse. The free two-day tournament will be held June 29-30 at Manzano Mesa Park in Albuquerque. The tournament will bring together pickleball enthusiasts and community members in an effort to raise awareness and prevention of elder abuse. 

“We are thrilled to be hosting the tournament again after the success of last year,” said Acting State Ombudsman Jennifer Scott. “This event is not only a fantastic opportunity for the community to engage in a fun and healthy activity, but also serves as a way for the Department to educate New Mexicans about the impact of elder abuse.” 

This year’s tournament will feature a range of competitive matches and is open to players of all skill levels, both in singles and doubles categories. The public is invited to attend and cheer on participants. In addition to the pickleball matches, there will be information on elder abuse prevention & giveaways provided by ALTSD.  Attendees are encouraged to bring food and sunscreen; water and light snacks will be provided. Those interested in participating can register by June 22 for a $5 processing fee. 

The month of June is designated as Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional and financial exploitation. Some signs that a person may be experiencing abuse, neglect or exploitation include unexplained cuts or bruises, lack of proper food and water, withdrawal, confusion, or isolation. 

“Events like this one help us talk about a tough issue in a more approachable setting,” said Adult Protective Services Director Esperanza Lucero. “We know that elder abuse is often under-reported, especially when there can be a lot of shame associated with being a victim of abuse. By knowing what to look for and who to call, we can help keep each other safe.” 

If you suspect an adult is being abuse, neglected or exploited, call Adult Protective Services at 866-654-3219 or visit aging.nm.gov for more information.