We handled nearly 500 cases in our Adult Protective Services unit in 2012.
It is a small number, when you think about the large amount of people who live in Hamilton County. One of the reasons is that the abuse and exploitation of senior citizens often goes unreported.
They are often embarrassed when they fall victim to a scam or when a family member abuses or takes advantage of them. Or, they are in the beginning stages of dementia and unable to protect themselves. Finally, they are often isolated without much outside contact, so it is easy for it to be covered up, missed or ignored.
More than half of the cases we handle actually don’t involve abuse or exploitation, but rather self neglect. It is beyond sad when someone is unable to care for themselves and unable or unwilling to reach out for help. We work hard to ensure they get the care they need and are able to live with dignity.
We will investigate any specific allegation of someone who is suffering from the infirmities of aging and falling victim to themselves or another. If you know of someone in need, call our 421-LIFE hotline. We should all look out for our elderly family members and neighbors.