Friday, April 24, 2015

AROUND TOWN: Elder abuse a focus of Silver Key and Colorado's mandatory reporters

Scott Fisher, left, Lindsey Tucker and CEO Davin Neubacher from Silver Key Silver Linings sponsor Navakai
The elderly aren't cute like babies and puppies, but they deserve care, dignity and respect.

Elisabeth Almond's words brought soft smiles and knowing head nods from 400 guests at Silver Key Senior Services' Silver Linings fundraising breakfast.

The subject of the morning on April 14: elder abuse.

Almond, the violence prevention regional planner for Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation, said she would have been more comfortable giving everyone flu shots that morning but needed to stand in front of a microphone to share the story of "Harry," brought into the ER with bruises, filthy clothes, a leaking catheter and dirty diaper. His caretaker, a family member, took "good care of me," he assured the staff. Instead, he hadn't been receiving his medication, food or care. The hospital staff cleaned him up, fed him and got him back on his meds. And they reported his case to elder-abuse-prevention authorities.

Since July of last year, it is law in Colorado that abuse or exploitation of at-risk elderly or even the suspicion of "imminent risk of abuse or exploitation" be reported to authorities.

"It is so important that all the Harrys and Hariettes be able to stay in their homes where they are safe," Almond said.

County Commissioner Dennis Hisey shared the story of his brother, the one who always had planned and saved for his retirement years. Little did Hisey or his family know, but his kind-hearted brother and sister-in-law had befriended "Ira," a man at church who was down on his luck, waiting for the six figures he was owed to come in "any day now." The couple's daughters discovered that all the retirement savings were depleted, going to "Ira," the man the couple thought needed it more than they did. Then they borrowed against their house to give money to "Ira" and soon the family home was in foreclosure. "Ira's" money never did come in, and the brother was left destitute.

"If there had been a Silver Key, if there had been an elder-abuse support system like we have in place here," this might not have happened, Hisey said. El Paso County has an active Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition.

Colorado law enforcement and fire departments, medical professionals, financial institutions and agencies reach out to help the at-risk elders. Among those at the Silver Key breakfast was Detective Charles Szatkowski, who investigates crimes against elders for the Colorado Springs Police Department, SZATKOCH@ci.colo, 444-7594.

AARP Foundation Elder Watch has a Colorado line (800) 222-4444, option 2.

For information about Silver Key:

Full Article & Source:
AROUND TOWN: Elder abuse a focus of Silver Key and Colorado's mandatory reporters

1 comment:

StandUp said...

I've never heard of Silver Key and will check them out.