In California, as many as 50,000 cases of elder and dependent adult abuse go unreported every month. To help increase reporting, the Tehama County Elder Services Coordinating Council is teaming up with Dignity Health North State and older adult advocates from throughout the state to educate our communities about elder and dependent adult abuse during the month of June.
At the June 6th Tehama County Board of Supervisors Meeting, a proclamation in support of Tehama County Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month was shared, and the Board of Supervisors designated June 15th to be World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Tehama County.
Elder and dependent adult abuse takes many forms, some more obvious than others. Physical, mental, sexual, and financial abuse, as well as neglect and self-neglect are recognized in state law as forms of elder and dependent adult abuse. Reports for all types of elder and dependent adult abuse are on the rise.
“We know that for every reported case of elder or dependent adult abuse, as many as four go unreported. That’s hundreds of thousands of people across the state who are not getting the help they need”, noted Amanda Sharp, Tehama County Director of Social Services and Executive Director of the Tehama County Community Action Agency.
Sharp continued, “It’s up to us as members of the community to know the signs of abuse, and report abuse. We have to recognize when our older adults are victims of abuse, and then take that crucial next step to report it to the local Adult Protective Services Agency.”
There are a number of indicators that may point to abuse, including:
Lack of adequate food, water and other amenities
Dirty clothing and changes in personal hygiene
Bruises, black eyes, broken bones
Bloody, ripped or stained clothing, sheets
Harassment, coercion, intimidation, humiliation
Unexplained purchases by the primary caregiver
To learn more about abuse indicators and how to report if you see or suspect abuse is occurring, visit one of four drop-in educational meetings on June 15th located through Tehama County. Social Workers from Adult Protective Services will be available at 11:30am in Red Bluff at the Community Center (1500 S. Jackson St., Red Bluff), at 12:00pm in Corning at the Senior Center (1015 4th Ave, Corning), at 12:00pm in Red Bluff at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in the McCauley Room (2550 Sister Mary Columba Dr., Red Bluff), and from 1-4:30pm in Los Molinos at the Government Center (7883 State Route 99E, Los Molinos).
Abuse doesn’t happen in a vacuum and often one type of abuse leads to another. In Tehama County, please call 530-527-1911 to report abuse of older adults and disabled adults who may be physically or financially abused, neglected, or exploited.