Recognize, Report the Abuse of Elders and Dependent Adults June is Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month
June is Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month. El Dorado County's Adult Protective Services (APS) Program, part of the County's Health and Human Services Agency, is making a special effort to reach out to community members during this month. "We want everyone to recognize the signs of elder and dependent adult abuse, to take steps to prevent it and to make a report if they have concerns," said Laura Walny, APS Program Manager.
El Dorado County has one of the fastest growing segments of older adults in California. People aged 65 and older currently represent nearly 20% of the County's population and that number is expected to rise. "As our community ages, it is imperative that we come together as a community in support of health and safety," said Walny.
APS is a State-mandated program that investigates situations that involve elders (age 65 and older) and dependent adults (18 to 64 year olds with a physical or mental disability) when those individuals are unable to meet their own needs or are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation. "APS staff assess situations of potential abuse or neglect; provide supportive services and linkage to County and community resources; and work with individuals, families and the community to provide a safety net for vulnerable older and dependent adults," said Walny.
El Dorado County APS investigated approximately 1,250 reported cases of elder or dependent adult abuse in 2016, an increase of nearly 25% since 2015. According to Walny, APS staff is also available as a resource for people who have questions about possible abuse or neglect. "If you are uncertain about making a report, please call us. We are happy to discuss situations and help determine if they rise to the level of APS intervention. As always, if someone is in immediate danger where their health or safety is at risk, you should not hesitate to call 911," said Walny.
Know the Signs and Report Concerns
Elder and dependent adult abuse is defined as an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to the victim.
The State of California recognizes six types of abuse:
Victims may suffer from several forms of abuse. Signs of abuse or neglect can include:
How to Make a Report
El Dorado County APS has a 24-hour hotline to report abuse of elder or dependent adults. To report suspected abuse or neglect call (530) 642-4800.
To report suspected abuse of an elder in a nursing home, residential care facility for the elderly, or assisted living facility, call the State Crisis Line number at 1-800-231-4024 or the El Dorado County Long Term Care Ombudsman program at (530) 621-6271.
For more information about APS or Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs, as well as other programs and supports for Seniors in El Dorado County, please visit www.edcgov.us/HHSA.
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