Social Services Agency, District Attorney’s Office Lead Special Event at County Fair
Alameda County’s leaders are marking Elder Abuse Awareness Month by recruiting the entire community to help protect Alameda County’s growing senior population—approximately 225,000 people over the age of 65 who make up approximately 13.5 percent of all County residents.
On June 15, 2019, the Alameda County Social Services Agency (ACSSA) joined forces with community partners to present a special event marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and Elder Abuse Awareness Month.
Volunteers from ACSSA, the District Attorney’s Office, Legal Assistance for Seniors, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, the Alameda County Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office, and the Advisory Commission on Aging gathered under one tent at the County Fair.
During this special event and over the course of two days (June 14 and 15), approximately 2,000 visitors from all ages and walks of life received information and resources on elder justice issues. Potential volunteer ombudsmen learned of opportunities to advocate for seniors in long-term care facilities.
Approximately 200 Alameda County residents age 55 and older made their voices heard by completing the community assessment survey for the 2021-2024 Countywide Older Adults Plan.
Lori A. Cox, Director of the ACSSA, explained that the Alameda County Fair was chosen as an ideal venue for the County’s message. “The County Fair brings together approximately half a million people from across our diverse community each year – this is the perfect venue for a public awareness campaign like this one because we need everyone to get involved.”
This past year, ACSSA’s Adult Protective Services received approximately 6,000 reports of elder abuse and neglect – and that’s most likely a tiny fraction of the problem in Alameda County alone, according to Randy Morris, Assistant Agency Director for the Adult and Aging Services Department.
He added, “The growing statistic that should concern all of us is the numbers of seniors who are swelling the homeless ranks. In most instances seniors find themselves homeless because they have fallen victim to financial exploitation or property theft.”
But he noted that it doesn’t have to end that way. “We offer services to victims who have been financially exploited, and in many cases we are able to intervene before their savings are wiped out. That is why it is so important to report abuse when it is first suspected.”
Boomer Fridays: Don’t miss out! ACSSA will be sponsoring two more free County Fair admission days for seniors (age 62 and up) until 5 p.m. on 28 and July 5.