Resource guide: keeping seniors protected from abuse

Posted at 12:15 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 15:15:55-04

San Diego County handles approximately 9,000 cases of elder and dependent adult abuse every year.


Elder abuse is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as "an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult." Types of elder abuse include: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, or financial abuse.


The county sees about 450 cases a year of criminal elder abuse cases, according to Paul Greenwood with the Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit of the District Attorney’s Office.


The District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit prosecutes crimes against seniors, as well as addresses the special needs of elderly victims. They meet with seniors to teach them how to protect themselves, train bank and credit union employees on protecting financial assets of elderly customers, and train first responders to be aware of issues involving elders.


The National Council on Aging said approximately 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some type of elder abuse. However, knowledge about elder abuse lags behind the fields of child abuse and domestic violence. The National Center on Elder Abuse called the need for more research "urgent."


The Justice Department also provides resources on the financial exploitation of seniors. You can find that link here.


If you need to report a case of elder abuse, call Adult Protective Services at (800) 510-2020.