Orange County Adult Protective Services (APS) is the first line of defense in combating elder abuse cases. APS receives more than 600 reports of abuse each month and national experts estimate that for every report of abuse, 23 are unreported
The U.S. Senate Special Commission on Aging reports that victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation are not only subject to injury from mistreatment, they are approximately three times more likely to die at an earlier age. Citizens and legislators need to be aware of the magnitude of the problem to be proactive in determining solutions. According to the Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse, University of California, Irvine, “Elder Abuse is one of the most overlooked public health hazards in the United States. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that between one and two million elderly adults have suffered from some form of elder abuse.” Orange County Adult Protective Services (APS) noted a steep increase in the reported incidents of elder abuse in recent years that may stem from an actual expansion of abuse or an improvement in reporting methods.
Many years ago, legislators became aware of the prevalence of elder abuse and enacted laws requiring mandated reporters to notify authorities if they suspect abuse is responsible for injuries to elders. Mandated reporters include social workers, clergy, doctors, nurses and caregivers.