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Elder abuse prevention focus of senior fair
Major Debi Shrum speaks with Doris Metzler during Senior Information Day. The Salvation Army Turlock Corps provided their gym for the event, which was organized by the Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance. - photo by ANDREA GOODWIN / The Journal
Senior citizens of Turlock are better prepared to protect themselves against elder abuse after the Senior Information Day held at the Salvation Army on Saturday.
“From big cities to small towns, seniors are vulnerable to physical, emotional, and financial abuse,” according to the promotional Web site for “Secrets in America,” a video shown at the event.
Representatives from the Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance sponsored the event. Adult Protective Services provided attendees with information about the prevention of elder abuse. Other agencies promoted city, county and non-profit services for seniors and their care-takers.
Jill Erickson, manager of the Stanislaus County Department of Aging and Veterans Services, said that although the Department of Aging and Veterans Services does not have offices in Turlock, they do offer services here.
“For example, we offer a meal program in Turlock even though the meals are made in Modesto. We will bring them to Turlock,” Erickson said.
Although senior services of all kinds were available at the information fair, the main focus of the event was elder abuse prevention. Erickson said one of the biggest risks of senior abuse is self neglect. Some seniors are not able to care for themselves and do not have anyone to help care for them.
Erickson said that Turlock residents should be aware of elderly neighbors and family members. If they suspect a senior needs care or help they can call Adult Protective Services at 558-8698 or 1-800-510-2020.
“If we don’t do that people get missed. And that’s our fear,” Erickson said.
Other booths at Senior Information Day focused on services that make life easier for seniors. One booth sold telephones with large numbers that made dialing easier for people with poor eye sight.
Doris Metzler, a 91 year-old resident of Turlock, said that she was most interested in the Turlock Transit and Stanislaus Regional Transit booth, which featured information about upcoming transit meetings.
“I want the old route back,” Metzler said.
Metzler said that it is a hardship for many seniors to transfer buses to get to the hospital or a doctor’s office.
“We’re too far away to get to the places you need to go when you get old,” Metzler joked.
Erickson said that about 100 seniors attended the Senior Information Day. She said that SEPA holds an event every year, but the change of location and bad weather may have kept many seniors away this year.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.