In San Marcos and throughout San Diego County, new plans are being developed to combat elder abuse and to make Southern California a safer place for seniors. According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, San Diego County has long been named as a desirable place to live and a great location to take a family vacation. Recently, the area’s “above-average score in public safety” meant that it made the U.S. News & World Report ranking of “America’s Top 500 Healthiest Communities” out of more than 3,000 nationwide. That ranking means that, on average, San Diego County residents are among the healthiest—and happiest—in the country. In fact, the San Diego metro area is growing yet remains one of the safest in the U.S. But does the same hold true for elderly residents of San Marcos and other parts of North County?
According to the article, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan is working on a “blueprint” to help stop, prosecute, and eventually prevent nursing home abuse and elder neglect in the area.
District Attorney’s Office Focuses on Senior Safety Concerns
In March 2018, Stephan’s office launched its new elder safety initiative. The office indicated that, with its new “blueprint” in place, it plans “to go after a scourge of elder abuse—a category of illicit activity that includes physical assault and financial crime, and is often perpetrated by caretakers and even the victims’ children.”
Although San Diego County is a safe place to live and to visit for most people, the same simply has not been true for seniors in the area who are residents at nursing homes or assisted-living facilities, or who live at home with the help of a live-in caregiver. Elder abuse has “been on the increase in San Diego County,” with a 37% rise over the last five years alone. As the aging population continues to grow, experts anticipate that incidents of elder abuse will only continue to rise unless something is done.
Developing a Blueprint to Protect Seniors in San Diego County
What is involved in the new initiative from the San Diego County District Attorney’s office? The “blueprint” is unique—the article explains that it is “the first document of its kind produced by the county,” and it focuses particularly on the vulnerable population of adults aged 65 and older, as well as other dependent adults who have mental or physical limitations. The blueprint aims to do a number of things, including but not limited to the following:
- Broaden general understanding of elder abuse, including how it happens as well as signs or symptoms;
- Expand law enforcement officials’ knowledge about recognizing and investigating elder abuse situations;
- Provide a clear set of questions for investigators to ask seniors who may be victims of physical abuse or neglect, as well as financial abuse, all of which are designed to help the victims speak up;
- Develop better coordination with social services organizations and other parties who regularly have contact with seniors in the community.
We need more investigations into alleged elder abuse in the San Diego County area, which could in turn result in a greater number of prosecutions for perpetrators of abuse and neglect.
Contact a San Marcos Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Elder abuse can be difficult to identify, but if you have concerns, you should speak with a San Marcos nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Walton Law Firm today for more information.
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(image courtesy of Sergey Zolkin)