On most Saturday evenings, my wife and I look forward to an hour of calm and peace during mass at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach. Last Saturday, we arrived a few minutes early, so I picked up the church bulletin and the Orange County Catholic newspaper. As I flipped through the contents of the newspaper, I found an article entitled “Older and Wiser“.
The article stated that, according to the Orange County Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Registry, abuse reports in Orange County rose 74% between 2004 and 2014. The evil doers are caregivers, strangers and family members.
Senior abuse reports in Orange County rose 74% between 2004 and 2014.
From my chair as a private investigator, we receive calls daily from senior citizens that want to engage our services to help them resolve abusive issues they are going through: physical, sexual, emotional and financial. I’ve found that the matters that involve money are more common than the others combined.
About 80% of these cases are related to seniors sending cash to phony Internal Revenue Service calls (the IRS never calls), as wells as lottery and charity scams.
California, Florida and Arizona – the states with the largest of retirement communities – are the main target of these scammers.
As I sat quietly in church, I found myself getting very irritated about the relatives (especially the children of the elderly) who don’t look out for their parents, loved ones or relatives. This is not necessary. It’s actually a very easy fix, if they would just have a little concern and compassion to implement it.
Communication with the seniors is key. Many older people will not say a word if they have been abused. You need to be vigilant in looking for bruising or marks. Bone fractures need to be thoroughly investigated. The most overlooked situation of the elderly is emotional shifts directly related to abuse. Deep-seated depression is a sign of trouble in their lives.
Maybe you want to check on them, but your parents or relatives are too far away, or in a distant state. You can certainly hire someone to check on your parents or loved ones (especially if they are in an assisted living facility). You might even get lucky and find a private investigative firm that will perform this task for a small fee. (We wrote on this subject in another post, Investigation of senior facilities by private investigators.) If you are a current or former client of our agency, we will perform this service as a professional courtesy. If you live next door to the senior or you live on the other side of the country, you can always afford yourself of the Adult Protective Services Department which is in almost every county throughout the United States. Many, if not all, also have a 24-hotline for you to call. Although their workload is heavy and constant, they will eventually arrange a meeting with the senior.
It is no secret that the seniors can often be more forthcoming and candid with social workers than with their own children, relatives or friends. This will provide you some piece of mind and be a wonderful gesture to support the senior in your life.