Did you know that every day approximately 10,000 people turn 65 years old in the U.S. alone? It is a trend that is expected to continue for the next 20 years. With the changing demographics, our country will soon claim more elderly among its numbers than ever before. Along with population growth will, unfortunately, come an increasing number of seniors experiencing abusive conditions.
Every year an estimated five million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture. Experts believe that, for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
Our efforts at the Churchill County Senior Center this month include bringing awareness of this data so that our seniors may be better protected. It may be helpful for you to know that you only have to suspect the abuse, neglect or exploitation to report it. You do not have to prove it before you report it!
Whom do you call? It depends on the situation. In emergency situations, contact local law enforcement immediately. For all other types of suspected abuse, self-neglect or exploitation, contact the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD). According to its website, it is the only entity within the state (other than law enforcement) that investigates elder abuse. ADSD is not an emergency responder, so calling local law enforcement when an emergency exists is essential.
We hope you take a few moments to learn more by visiting the Care Connection website at www.nevadaadrc.com where you can find learning videos, presentations and tests.
Reporting: 888-729-0571; Crisis Call Center 1-800-992-5757.
Jamie Lee is the executive director of the Churchill County Senior Center.