Monthly e-Tip: National Elder Abuse Awareness Month
The month of June is National Elder Abuse Awareness Month, and the Bakersfield Police Department would like to take part in educating the community about this sensitive subject. Elder abuse has no boundaries, has occurred across every socioeconomic background and demographic and it can take on many forms. Elder abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes that occurs today. As a result of being under-reported, there are no official national statistics. The victim of abuse may choose not to come forward and report for various reasons including embarrassment and fear of retaliation.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, “the majority of abusers (of senior citizens) are family members, most often an adult child or spouse” (15 Questions & Answers About Elder Abuse, NCEA, 2005.) Perpetrators of elder abuse can also include caregivers (possibly other family members or friends), either in-home or at assisted living facilities, financial advisors, and service providers.
Forms of elder abuse include:
- Assault (including non-consensual sexual acts)
- Physical/chemical restraint
- Deprivation of food or water
- Personal hygiene
- Clothing and shelter
- Medical care
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Illegal taking of funds or assets
Elder abuse can occur at any time and everyone is potentially susceptible. Raising awareness by starting conversations and providing information to the community is the Bakersfield Police Department’s goal of providing this e-tip. For more information please visit www.ncea.aoa.gov.
The Bakersfield Police Department would like to promote the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s campaign “If You See Something, Say Something”. If you see or suspect elder abuse, please report it by calling 911 if the elder is in immediate danger, or call the non-emergency telephone number, (661)327-7111. You can also report suspected elder abuse to Kern County Ageing and Adult Services at (661)868-1000. Protecting vulnerable senior citizens from elder abuse is the responsibility of the community and taking action against it should be everyone’s priority.
The Bakersfield Police Department’s Community Relations Unit offers an elder abuse presentation for senior citizens and caregivers. Please contact Alysen Gelinas at 661-326-3922 if you are interested in scheduling a presentation.