Abuse occurs across every demographic – no one is immune. Riverside County is once again raising awareness about elder abuse Wednesday, June 5 at the Fifth annual Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Symposium.

Riverside County Adult Protective Services handles more than 20,000 calls of abuse and neglect to its hotline annually. However, the rate of abuse is estimated to be much higher than this.

“As many as 1 in 10 older adults are abused or neglected each year, and only 1 in 14 cases comes to the attention of authorities,” Ryan Uhlenkott, Deputy Director of Operations for DPSS’ Adult Services Division, said in a prepared statement. “Older adults are vital to our community. Their abuse diminishes us all.”

Elder abuse is any act which causes harm to an older person, and may be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and includes mistreatment, neglect, and self-neglect.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Elder abuse is a significant public health problem. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. Elder abuse, including neglect and exploitation, is experienced by 1 out of every 10 people, ages 60 and older, who live at home.

A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of becoming a perpetrator of elder abuse, according  to the CDC. They are contributing factors and may or may not be direct causes.

This year’s symposium at the Riverside Convention Center will focus on early intervention strategies to prevent further abuse and neglect. Keynote speaker Dr. Wael Hamade, M.D., specializes in Geriatric Medicine at Riverside University Health System, Medical Center. He’ll discuss practical early intervention strategies and how the health of our aging population poses both challenges and opportunities for our community to promote healthy aging.

Roughly, 450 people are expected to attend, including city and county leaders, community agencies, law enforcement, medical providers, financial institutions and those who work directly with the elder and dependent adult community.

Find the symposium’s program by clicking here.


Image Sources

  • Senior Woman with Bruises: Searcy Denny