June 13, 2012 – The El Paso Board of County Commissioners declared June Elder Abuse Awareness Month. In 2011 in El Paso County the Department of Human Services received 1,048 reports of elder abuse or neglect. Most of the reports in 2011 were for some type of self neglect. In that category 286 reports were made. The next biggest category was exploitation where 277 reports were received.
“We recognize that senior citizens are valued members of our society and it is our collective responsibility to ensure they live safely and with dignity,” said Commissioner Peggy Littleton. “We are all responsible for supporting safer environments for El Paso County’s senior citizens to ensure they are treated with respect and dignity to enable them to continue serving as leaders, mentors, volunteers and important members of this community.”
The Fountain Valley Senior Center is one resource in El Paso County for seniors and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for older adults by providing, direct services as needed, information, networking opportunities, advocacy and education. Fountain Valley Senior Center will host a World Elder Abuse Awareness event on Friday, June 15, 2012 from 3:00 to 4:30 complete with presentations and resource tables.
Aspen Pointe runs a program for grandparents raising their grandchildren called The Incredible Years. It is an evidenced-based program that promotes play between grandparents and their grandchildren to enhance the interconnection, provide practical parenting skills and build the social-emotional health of the child. “Vulnerability to abuse increases when older adults do not have a strong sense of belonging and connection with others,” said Jason DeaBueno from Aspen Pointe. “Seniors are a resource to our community that is sometimes overlooked in terms of enhancing the developmental and social-emotional health of children and families.”
As part of the campaign SPEAK UP through Adult Protective Services here are some signs that an adult is suffering from abuse or neglect.
- Sudden changes in behavior, finances or lifestyle
- Physical injuries, dehydration or malnourishment
- Extreme withdrawal, depression or anxiety
- Absence of basic care of necessities
- Kept away from others
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Personal Items or money missing
To report abuse, neglect or exploitation call Adult Protective Services at 444-5755.
Contact: Jennifer Brown
Public Information Officer
Phone: 444-5533 Cell: 238-4478