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Elder aubse targeted by El Dorado County Sheriff

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department has added a new position specifically dedicated to investigating elder abuse.

Lt. Tim Becker of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department said Detective Simon Brown has taken the job and will focus his efforts on combating the increase in elder abuse cases.

“We’ve seen an increase overall of about 9 percent of such cases,” Becker said. “In El Dorado County the elderly population has increased more than 30 percent above the state average for those over the age of 65.”

Recent national statistics show, more than a 500,000 reports of abuse against the elderly are reported every year, while millions more go unreported.

Much of this abuse occurs in their own homes, homes of relatives and even facilities responsible for their care.

The majority of the abuse is physical and financial, he said.

“Some of the abuse is categorized as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or abandonment by caregivers, and at times, health care fraud,” according to a press release from the department.

Physical abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving, but inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

Financial exploitation involves the unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside scam artist. We have seen many scams in El Dorado County involving the announcement of a prize, that the elderly person has won, but must pay money to claim that prize.

Brown will work closely with the District Attorney’s Office, as well as the County’s Adult Protective Services, (APS). Together, they will be a voice for our county’s aging population and to seek justice.

They will pursue individuals who attempt to take advantage of our elderly citizens.

Becker was quick to add that the Sheriff’s office was able to add the position with no increase in cost to the county.

Through fiscal management and savings the position was able to be seamlessly funded.

If you suspect a family member is a victim of elder abuse, or have suspicions that someone you know may be a victim, don’t hesitate to call the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 621-6600. You can also report any suspected elder abuse directly to the county’s Adult Protective Services at 642-4800.