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June is elder abuse awareness month. Here are the signs

Slide Public Safety

The Bakersfield Police Department is reminding the public that June is elder abuse prevention month.

An estimated one in 10 older adults experience elder abuse, BPD said in a news release, with studies showing 86 percent of abuse is committed by a family member, caregiver, financial advisor or someone else close to the victim.

The signs of elder abuse include:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Uncombed or matted hair
  • Bruises, scratches, welts or blisters
  • Untreated medical conditions
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Angry outbursts
  • Confusion or fear
  • Disappearance of important papers
  • Unusual bank activity
  • Lack of personal grooming or clothing
  • Loss of ATM or credit cars
  • Unpaid bills
  • The appearance of a stranger who offers to manage the elder's financial assets

How to prevent elder abuse:

  • Research facilities using www.bbb.org or www.medicare.gov
  • Ask to see a facility's license or latest inspection report
  • Prepare legal affairs and finances
  • Stay in touch with friends and family
  • If unhappy, speak up

BPD says elder abuse is largely under-reported due to the fear of retaliation.

To report elder abuse, call BPD's non-emergency lines at 661-327-7111 or 911 if a life is in immediate danger.

Kern County Aging and Adult Services can be reached at 661-868-1006.