As we age, we can become more vulnerable to abuse. Others--even family members--may bully us, spend our money, change ownership of our assets, harm us physically, and even neglect our basic needs for clothing, food, medical attention, and shelter.
We each have a role in preventing, identifying, and reporting elder abuse. As older adults, we can keep our doors closed to strangers, hang up on unusual phone calls, do our homework on financial matters, stay current on scams, and talk to a trusted person--such as a doctor or clergy member--about situations that we are uncomfortable with. As friends, family members, and caretakers of older adults, we can learn the signs of elder abuse and speak up when we suspect harm is being done. As providers of services for older adults, we must meet our legal obligations for mandated reporting of elder abuse; in fact, failure to report elder abuse is a crime punishable by jail time and/or a steep fine.
Central California Legal Services hosts monthly Elder Abuse Prevention Roundtable meetings. Meetings feature guest speakers who are experts in the elder abuse field and discussions between agencies and organizations that work with and on behalf of older adults. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Call Central California Legal Services at 559 570-1200 or toll-free at 800 675-8001 for information on the next meeting or to sign up for e-mail meeting notifications.