In May, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office rolled out a brand-new hotline and website to help protect senior citizens from financial scams and physical abuse. So far, the increased focus on putting a stop to elder abuse has been a resounding success.
The movement began in 2014 when the county created the Long Term Care Special Prosecutions Unit. Since the unit was established, it has opened more than 100 cases and filed five felony charges of elder abuse. Now, San Diego area families who are concerned their loved ones are being taken advantage of or abused have far more resources to help them fight back.
Changing demographics prompt action
Enhancing the way the county tracks incidents of abuse has been necessary considering how rapidly the area is aging. Some county leaders estimate the number of residents aged 75 or older will eventually come close to doubling, from 170,000 to 325,000. This means more resources and government oversight will be necessary to ensure the health and safety of senior citizens in the San Diego area.
Staff members from the District Attorney’s Office screens all calls made to the new elder abuse hotline. There are two-and-a-half dedicated prosecutors, two paralegals and three investigators all working for the unit right now, and there has been an increased focus on raising awareness in the general public on signs of senior abuse. The county board also approved additional funding for the unit to run the Long Term Special Care Prosecution Unit for at least one more year.
If you believe your elderly loved one is suffering some form of abuse, visit the San Diego County District Attorney Office’s website to make a report. You may also consult an experienced elder abuse attorney with Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire for sound legal guidance.