Batavia, OH, June 15, 2015 – Clermont Senior Services commemorated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) by wearing purple to work. With our aging population, elder abuse is a growing problem, every day, 10,000 people turn 65 in the US alone, that trend will continue for the next 20 years. Every year an estimated 5 million, or 1 in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23.5 cases go unreported.
In conjunction with Clermont County, Clermont Senior Services is spearheading a new effort to address these issues.
Clermont County Adult Protective Services (APS) has been awarded a grant of $20,509.67 that will be utilized to develop a recruitment plan to draw willing and credible attorneys to commit to being trained and called upon as court-appointed Guardians and a placement program for Wards through Clermont Senior Services, by contract with Clermont County Probate Court.
When an adult’s ability to make decisions is so impaired because of mental and/or physical disabilities, the Court must make decisions, legally, to appoint a Guardian who becomes the surrogate decision-maker in personal and/or financial matters for the incapacitated person/ward. Although APS always looks toward family or friends first to serve to protect the incapacitated individual, there are times when the preferred route of appointing a family member is not possible because that person does not exist, is unwilling, inappropriate, or unacceptable. Physicians and other health care providers are reluctant, and often refuse, to treat and serve an incapacitated adult who does not have a guardian to give informed consent. In addition, without a guardian, an individual may be denied appropriate housing, pension benefits, government entitlements, personal care and social activities.
Cindy Gramke, Executive Director/CEO for Clermont Senior Services reports that the number of Adult Protective Services referrals for investigations in Clermont County continues to grow. In 2008, there were 124 Adult Protective Services referrals for investigation, more than doubling with a high of 268 referrals in 2013 and nominally lower in 2014 with 258.
Clermont Senior Services is the exclusive contract agency for the state-mandated Adult Protective Services Program, investigating allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation of older adults in Clermont County by agreement with the Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services. When abuse, neglect or exploitation is suspected, please contact the Clermont County Department of Job and Family Service Intake line at 513-732-7173.