World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to be Observed

 

Last updated 4/29/2024 at 3:46pm | View PDF

For the entire month of June, purple flags will be planted on the lawn of Tulare County Government Plaza along Mooney Boulevard as they were in this photo from last year.

June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Month and observances will be held in both Tulare and Kings Counties.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched on June 15, 2006, by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

Each year, an estimated five million older persons in the United States are abused, neglected and exploited. In addition, seniors throughout the country lose an estimated $2.6 billion annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could have been used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food and medical care.

In 2023, Tulare County prosecutors filed 29 felony cases and 18 misdemeanor cases of elder abuse, which is a decrease in cases in both categories. Meanwhile, victim advocates with the Tulare County District Attorney Office (TCDA) served hundreds of victims at various stages of the criminal justice process.

“The last year has been great for outreach to Tulare County’s seniors and those who spend a great deal of time with that community,” said District Attorney Tim Ward. “Throughout the summer, victim advocates will be working tirelessly to bring prevention resources to seniors, and our office will continue its bilingual multi-media elder abuse awareness campaign.

"We encourage any group or club focused on senior issues to contact us for important presentation opportunities. Call the TCDA Victim Services Division at (559) 636-5471 to schedule. Our website is also a great resource (https://tulareda.org/elder-abuse/).”

To honor seniors who reported some form of abuse in 2023, Tulare County HHSA will be planting purple flags on the lawn at Tulare County Government Plaza on Mooney Boulevard in Visalia.

The purple flags will fly at Government Plaza for the entire month of June. The color purple is associated with royalty, dignity and respect – words often used to describe seniors. Community members are encouraged to wear purple in support of prevention of elder abuse and neglect.

Kings County Cases

Reported cases of elder abuse increased in Kings County in 2023. Sixty-seven cases were reported in 2023, up from 44 in 2022. However, these statistics do not reflect the actual numbers of cases.

"We know that there are a lot of cases that are unreported," said Kings County District Attorney Sarah Hacker. "Some don't want their caretaker to get into trouble. An abusive caretaker is better than no caretaker at all."

Kings County provides re-sources for elder abuse victims through its Adult Protective Services (search for "elder abuse" at http://www.countyofkingsca.gov) and the Kings County Action Organization (www.kcao.org/elder-abuse).

To report suspected elder abuse in Kings County, call (559) 852-4000.

The KCDA's office will run an Elder Abuse Awareness campaign on both Facebook and Instagram, and will also be distributing pins and information about the observance. A "pinwheel gar-den" will be planted in front of the KCDA office.

On Friday, June 14, the Kings County Commission on Aging Council will host a World Elder Abuse Awareness Event featuring food, prizes, music, live performances and informational booths, at the Senior Center in Armona.

New Resource from TCDA

The TCDA has announced a new resource for seniors.

“This year, we are excited to provide seniors with a beautiful day planner and calendar depicting Tulare County’s many landscapes,” said Super-vising Victim Advocate Nicole Burnham.

The planner is bilingual and includes entries for appointments, events, a month-ly to-do list, phone number lists, and notes.

“Not only that, but the planner includes numerous resource numbers to law enforcement, legal and support services, and contacts for the Office of the District Attorney," said Burnham. "The planners will be distributed at senior events throughout the year, including Senior Day at the Park. We’re extremely proud to provide this resource.”

For more information about elder abuse, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website at http://www.ncea.acl.gov

If you suspect elder abuse, you can contact law enforcement or call the County Adult Protective Services toll-free, 24-hour-a-day hotline at 1-877-657-3092 to report confidentially,” said Ward.

In case of an emergency, always call 911.

 

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