Approximately one in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse, according to the National Council on Aging, and Elder Abuse Awareness Month provides an opportunity to shed light on this important topic.
Join the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Adults Protective Services (APS) staff on a walk June 15, to bring attention to elder and vulnerable adult abuse and neglect.
APS provides protective services to elders age 60 and older and dependent adults 18 to 59 who are unable to protect their own interests or care for themselves.
Humboldt APS is made up of social workers, social service aides, analysts and vocational assistants and receives an average of 105 reports of suspected abuse or neglect monthly.
Adult Services Program Manager Keri Schrock said, “Elder abuse is a widespread problem, and the pandemic has heightened the challenges faced by elders and dependent adults, increased isolation and loneliness and made it more difficult for them to access vital services and resources.”
Schrock said signs of abuse and neglect may include changes in behavior, disposition or physical condition.
“By checking in on elders in your family and community you can act as a protective factor to decrease the likelihood of abuse and neglect,” she said. “If you suspect an elder or dependent adult is being abused and/or neglected, please call APS. Our staff work to keep our elders safe while honoring individuals’ rights to independence, dignity and self-determination. While it is wonderful to have a specific month and day dedicated to increasing awareness of elder abuse, we must maintain awareness every day and take action to make sure the elders in our community lead lives of high quality.”
If you suspect elder or dependent adult abuse, call APS at 707-476-2100 or toll free at 866-527-8614. For more information, visit https://humboldtgov.org/501/Reporting-Abuse.
The walk is scheduled to take place on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Wednesday, June 15. Participants will meet at 11 a.m. at Sixth and C streets and walk to Halvorsen Park and back. For more information and to join the DHHS APS team, visit https://weaad.walkertracker.com/?i=87545BBA-g-93026.
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