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February 20, 2011

County Official: Elder Abuse is Underreported (USA)


Tulare County official: Elder abuse is underreported, could get worse

Feb. 19, 2011

Eighty-seven-year-old Kay has been financially taken advantage of and neglected for several years, she says. She says it's a consequence of getting older.
"My money disappears all the time, and I go to the bank and get some more," Kay said. "I guess it's all just a part of getting old. People lift your money."
The Times-Delta/Advance-Register is using only first names of elderly people mentioned in this story in order to protect their identities.
Kay has had money taken from her bank account twice and shown up at the Visalia Senior Center bleeding from an untreated injury because she doesn't have transportation to the doctor. In fact, Kay can't remember the last time she saw a physician about any ailment. Senior center staff members have tried to contact Adult Protective Services, but the agency has yet to help Kay, staff says.
A supervisor from Tulare County Adult Protective Services was unavailable for comment. However, Health and Human Services e-mailed a response to questions.
"The policy of Tulare County Adult Protective Services is to prevent and remedy the abuse, neglect or exploitation of elder and dependent adults who are unable to protect their own interests and who are at risk of harm," said HHSA spokeswoman Allison Lambert, by e-mail. "APS seeks to maintain the individual's safety whenever possible in his or her environment by strengthening his or her capacity for self-maintenance, through the direct provision of services, or by linking the individual to appropriate services."
The HHSA response did not include answers to questions about whether it provided assistance to Kay.

Abridged
SOURCE:      The Visalia Times Delta


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