Elder Abuse

IF YOU NEED HELP IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 — Referral and Support Line (916) 204-8777

Originated as part of Family Shalom, since 2010 the primary goal of the Elder Abuse Program has been to educate NCJW members and the larger community about elder abuse: its incidence, types, symptoms, and causes; how to help yourself or someone else who may be a victim of elder abuse; and community resources that can provide assistance.

Elder Abuse is a large and growing problem. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) defines elder mistreatment (i.e. abuse and neglect) as intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm (whether or not harm is intended) to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the elder. This includes failure by a caregiver to satisfy the elder’s basic needs or to protect the elder from harm. The incidence of elder abuse is uncertain, but the NCEA cites recent studies that indicate that 7.6 to 10 percent of study participants experienced abuse in the prior year; the study reporting an incidence of 10 percent did not include financial abuse. It is widely agreed that elder abuse is underreported. Only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of authorities. The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 were unknown. The NCEA estimates that two to five million elderly Americans suffer from some form of elder abuse each year.

Family members — adult children, spouses, partners, and others — are the primary abusers, but studies indicate a high incidence of elder abuse in long term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living and board and care facilities. Risk of abuse increases with age, disability and dementia.

The main types of elder abuse are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, neglect and self-neglect, abandonment and financial exploitation.

In June 2014, NCJW (supported by a grant from the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region) held a series of forums with expert guest speakers on the different types and aspects of elder abuse and how to protect oneself and others from abuse and neglect.

Forum Series Topics

Financial Fraud, Scams, and Abuse: A Panel Discussion (Part I)
Financial Fraud, Scams, and Abuse (presentation at a senior residence)
Financial Fraud, Scams, and Abuse: A Panel Discussion (Part II)
Aging: Keeping Our Brains and Bodies Healthy and Safe
Bodies, Hearts, and Minds: The Impact of Physical and Emotional Abuse on Our Elders
Challenges in Elder Health Care: Minimizing Risks and Maximizing Positive Outcomes
Challenges in Elder Health Care: Managing Multiple Medications

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Resources

For Abuse of Elders Living in the Community

Sacramento County Adult Protective Services
24 hours: (916) 874-9377

For Abuse of Elders Living in Nursing Homes or Residential Care Facilities

Ombudsman Services of Northern California
(916) 376-8910 or 1-800-231-4024
TDD/TYY 1-800-735-2929

Information and Resources to Avoid Becoming a Victim and to Report Abuse

Local Police Department or County Sheriff

Dial 2-1-1 or call (916) 498-1000
or 1-800-500-4931 for information
and referrals in Sacramento

Senior Legal Hotline (916) 551-2140

California (CA) Senior Gateway
One-Stop Website for Seniors and Caregivers

CA Department of Insurance (CDI) Senior Information Center

CA Department of Justice Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse
1-800-722-0432

Contractors State License Board
1-800-321-2752

CA Department of Business Oversight
1-866-275-2677 or TTY 1-800-735-2922

Seniors Against Investment Fraud
Complaints

CA Department of Aging

CA Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)

McGeorge School of Law Elder & Health Law Clinic
(916) 340-6080