Gloucester seniors were treated to a cookout Monday afternoon as Gloucester-based SeniorCare Inc. kicked off a week of rallies recognizing June as World Elder Abuse Awareness Month.

According to SeniorCare, 10,000 people turn 65 in the U.S. every day, a trend that will continue for the next 20 years. Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.

Elder abuse and neglect and take on various forms, SeniorCare said. It can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, financial, neglect by a caregiver, or self-neglect. Elder abuse can occur anywhere — in the home, in nursing homes, or other institutions. It affects seniors across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races. 

SeniorCare is participating and supporting five rallies to increase awareness of elder abuse before World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.

Monday's was the first. Attendees met at the flagpole in front of the Gloucester Police Station on Main Street at 11 a.m., marched down Main Street, continuing along Rogers Street to the Fitz Henry Lane parking lot on the corner of Rogers Street and Harbor Loop, where there was a cookout. Gloucester’s event was also supported by the Gloucester Police Department, HAWC, and the Gloucester Council on Aging. 

Rockport’s “Show You Care” rally will be Thursday, June 13, from 10a.m. to noon at Five Corners — the intersection of Broadway, Railroad Avenue, and Main Street — in conjunction with the Rockport Police Department and the Rockport Council on Aging. 

Ipswich will hold a rally on Thursday, June 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Five Corners, the intersection of Central and Market streets. This event is supported by the Ipswich Police Department, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, the Ipswich Council on Aging and SeniorCare. 

Manchester-By-The-Sea's rally will be on the Village Green in front of Town Hall on Thursday, June 13, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. with support from Manchester’s Police Department and Council on Aging. 

Beverly will hold a rally in front of Beverly City Hall on Friday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. Beverly’s event is supported by the Beverly Police Department, HAWC, and the Beverly Council on Aging. 

Concerned citizens are invited to participate in any or all of these events. Join SeniorCare and  local safety agencies in bringing light to the horrendous crime of elder abuse.

If you suspect abuse or self-neglect, don’t assume that someone has already reported it. In cases of immediate danger call 911. Otherwise, you can call the Massachusetts Elder Abuse Hotline at 800-922-2275.