Sen. Dodd: June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, today announced a resolution naming June as Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month in recognition of a serious and growing crisis in California that has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Shining a light on the pervasive nature of this problem as well as the warning signs are critical steps toward prevention,” Sen. Dodd said. “Sadly, not a day goes by without reports of horrific cases of abuse or exploitation of the elderly or adults with disabilities. The pandemic has strained our ability to care for vulnerable people, making the situation that much worse.”
Senate Concurrent Resolution 45 comes as the U.S. population continues to age with 10,000 people turning 65 every day. Each year, there are 6 million cases of elder abuse nationwide with 11 percent of all cases in California, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. Another report from the National Council on Aging shows only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse are ever reported to authorities. During the pandemic, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia deaths increased by 16% as resources and caregivers were stretched to the limits.
Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month is recognized globally. In 2019, the Legislature passed SCR 49, written by Sen. Dodd, mirroring national and international recognition of the problem in June.
Elderly and disabled adults face a constellation of abuse including physical, mental, financial, pharmaceutical or medical -- any one of which could restrict their ability to protect themselves, to report to authorities or to testify against perpetrators. The situation is worsened by the fact that one in eight people over 65 have Alzheimer’s disease, making them more vulnerable. One in two people with dementia experience some form of abuse. Abuse of developmentally disabled adults is also staggering.
“The events of the past year have relentlessly challenged our systems for protecting the safety, security, and rights of older and vulnerable Californians,” said Lisa Nerenberg, executive director of California Elder Justice Coalition. “What better way to rededicate ourselves to ensuring equity and justice than this important resolution. CEJC is proud to sponsor this resolution and thanks Sen. Dodd for his continuing leadership.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.