Elder Abuse Task Force Receives Grant


Last updated 4/10/2020 at 11:26am | View PDF

TCDA Elder Abuse Victim Advocates Cindy Clacher and Nicole Burnham, and Victim Advocate Stacy Zaragosa provide resources on elder abuse and scams at the 2019 Senior Day in the Park event in Visalia.

The Tulare County District Attorney's Office has received a one-year grant from the California Office of Emergency Services to fund its Elder Abuse Task Force through the 2020 calendar year.

The money will fund two full-time elder abuse advocates – one each in Visalia and Porterville – and continue the outreach and training to fight the crime of elder abuse.

"The best approach to this crime is to prevent it from happening in the first place," said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward. "With help from a series of competitive grant awards over the last few years, our advocates have done an incredible job reaching the community and educating them on what elder abuse entails. We will continue that commitment to prevention into 2020."

Advocates bring information to senior care and senior living facilities, care providers, retiree associations, churches, senior centers and service clubs about scams targeting seniors, as well as financial, physical and neglectful abuse of the elderly.

Since 2018, advocates have participated in more than 50 events and have reached thousands in the community with resources on elder abuse.

Part of the 2020 outreach will include a May/June bilingual elder abuse multi-media campaign on television and on buses asking community members to report suspected abuse.

The D.A.'s office continues to be an active partner in the county multi-disciplinary team that brings together county organizations serving seniors and care providers to collaborate on complex cases.

"The number of elder abuse cases rose slightly in 2019 from the year prior," said Ward. "We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute people who perpetrate these crimes against our senior community, and our advocates stand ready to assist any and all victims. This office, and the county as a whole, is dedicated to the protection of seniors."


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