June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Elder abuse is very common. Here in Contra Costa County, Adult Protective Services received 6,225 allegations of elder abuse in 2022. The most commonly alleged form of elder abuse was financial exploitation, with 1,321 allegations of financial exploitation made in 2022. While there are different forms of elder abuse, elder financial abuse is the most common. Elder financial abuse is when a person takes the property of an elder or a dependent adult for a wrongful use, or intends to defraud the elder. The person doing this is committing elder abuse if they knew or should have known that their conduct was likely to be harmful to the elder or dependent adult. Elder financial abuse also includes any person who assists with this.
There are different types of elder financial abuse. Elder financial abuse can include scams, fraud, and identity theft. Examples of financial abuse include:
· A scammer convinces a senior to wire money to a foreign county for an “investment”
· A daughter agrees to help her mom may bills, but the daughter writes checks to herself from mom’s account, without mom’s permission
· A new “friend” gets a senior’s social security number and opens credit cards in the senior’s name
· A financial advisor asks a senior to invest in their side business, which turns out to be fake
· A senior gives their caregiver money to purchase food for the senior, and the caregiver keeps the change for themself, without the senior’s permission
There are many resources in Contra Costa County for seniors who are experiencing elder abuse. Seniors experiencing abuse can call Contra Costa Senior Legal Services at (925) 609-7900 for assistance. To report elder abuse to Adult Protective Services, call (877) 839-4347 or (925) 602-4179.
To learn more about elder abuse and local resources, come to the Elder Abuse Awareness Fair at Concord Senior Center. The Concord Senior Center is located at 2727 Parkside Circle, Concord, CA 94519. The fair will be sponsored by the Contra Costa Elder Abuse Prevention Project and will take place in the Garden Room from 12 pm – 2pm. Participants can get information on how to spot and prevent elder abuse.