Last month, officials from the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) said that the agency was referring far fewer cases of suspected elder abuse and neglect to law enforcement.
DSHS made the revelation to a 24-member task force that is studying how to better safeguard seniors in adult family homes. The group, made up of community advocates and public officials in the senior-care field, was formed earlier this year in response to The Times' ongoing series about adult family homes.
At the meeting, several task-force members expressed surprise at the sharp drop, which began after 2007. They questioned how suspected neglect cases could be dropping when more people than ever rely on long-term care and the number of adult homes continues to rise, according to participants.
DSHS offered no explanation in reply.
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DSHS Referrals for Neglect Drop