Elder Abuse Prevention Services
Each year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse and neglect by someone they depend on for care or protection. Conservative estimates are that only one in 14 cases of elder abuse and neglect are reported to the proper authorities.
The WISE & Healthy Aging Elder Abuse Prevention Program provides elders with the knowledge and skills they can use to protect themselves from becoming victims of financial, physical or emotional abuse. Senior victims often lack knowledge about how to seek protection from their abusers or are fearful of reporting the crime due to their dependency upon abusers for care.To find out more about victim services visit this blog from the National Center on Elder Abuse. Also visit our facebook page to find out more information.
Facts About Elder Abuse
No one knows precisely how many older Americans are being abused, neglected or exploited. Definitions of elder abuse vary, often hiding the true dimensions of the problem. There is no national clearinghouse where data is collected and compared. State statistics widely vary in what they report and how.
The following facts come from the National Center on Elder Abuse and draw data from a number of studies.
Resource Guides for download:
How Many Older Americans Have Experienced Elder Abuse?
- An estimated one to two million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.
- It is estimated that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect reported to authorities, about five more go unreported.
- It is estimated that only one out of every 25 cases of financial exploitation is reported. This suggests there may be at least 5 million financial abuse victims each year.
- In domestic settings, it is estimated that only one in 14 incidents of elder abuse come to the attention of the authorities.
- For other information visit our facebook page.
Report Elder Abuse Immediately
Elder abuse or neglect can be life-threatening to a senior. It should be reported as soon as possible. If the abuse presents immediate or life-threatening danger, it should be reported to the police by calling 911 right away. If the abuse is not of an emergency nature, it can be reported to the following organizations:
- Adult Protective Services, of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. The Elder Abuse Hotline is (877) 477-3646. The telephone number for Adult Protective Services is (213) 351-5401. To submit a report use this link.
- WISE & Healthy Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Any type of suspected abuse occurring at a nursing home, elder care facility or adult day health care centers can be reported to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Telephone numbers for reporting are (800)-334-WISE (9473) or after business hours (800) 231-4024.
Legal Remedies in California for Financial Elder Abuse
Two sections of law in California provide the basis for addressing abuse of elders or dependent adults:
- The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) Chapter 11. (Welfare & Institutions Code Section 156000 ET. Seq.) Established a system for intervention by Adult Protective Services, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and local law enforcement. It allows these organizations to receive referrals or complaints regarding abuse of elders or dependent adults and allows them to take protective action to ensure an older adult’s or dependent adult’s safety.
- Penal Code Section 368. It is a crime - punishable by fine or imprisonment or both - to abuse an elder (anyone over the age of 65), or a dependent adult (anyone between the ages of 18 and 64) who, due to physical or mental incapacity is unable to adequately protect themselves).
- The statute has been amended to make theft or embezzlement from an elder or dependent adult a crime by a caretaker or by an individual who is not a caretaker. If the amount taken is over $400, the action is a felony; if the amount is less than $400, it is a misdemeanor. A caretaker is considered to be any person who has the care, custody, or is in control of, or who stands in a position of trust with, an elder or a dependent adult.