June is 'know abuse, report abuse' month

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

In California, as many as 50,000 cases of elder and dependent adult abuse go unreported every month. To help increase reporting, the Siskiyou Alliance Against the Abuse of Aging and At-Risk Adults is teaming up with older adult advocates from throughout the state to educate our communities about elder and dependent adult abuse during the month-long “know abuse, report abuse” campaign in June.

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. Here in Siskiyou County, reported cases of Elder Abuse reached 335 last year, including reported abuse in Long-Term Care facilities.

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.

It’s up to us as members of the community to “know abuse report abuse” – to recognize when our older adults and those over 18 who are vulnerable are victims of abuse and then take that crucial next step to report it to the local Adult Protective Services number at (530) 841-4200 or suspected abuse of an elder in a nursing home, residential care facility for the elderly, or assisted living facility, contact the State CRISISline number at 1-800-231-4024 or your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at (530) 229-1435.

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

Watch for efforts to bring awareness of the “know abuse report abuse” campaign to our communities during the month of June including banner and flag displays indicating the number of elder abuse cases reported in Siskiyou County last year; food Drives; elder abuse trainings; and a Purple Light Campaign to help raise awareness.