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Getting the word out about elder abuse
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Beth Fernandes tests her balance and flexibility with the California State University, Stanislaus Kinesiology Department at the Turlock Senior Information Day on Friday. - photo by ANDREA GOODWIN / The Journal

The Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance did their part to keep local senior citizens safe by hosting an abuse prevention information day. The event was held Friday morning and included lectures, information booths and a free lunch.

Catholic Charities, which helps organize the yearly Senior Information Day and funds SEPA, hopes the event will spread awareness about elder abuse.

“Elder abuse happens more often than people realize. Most people have heard of CPS, but how many have heard of APS?” said Monica Ramos, program director.

APS is the acronym for Adult Protective Services, an agency that responds to reports of elder or dependent adult abuse.  Ramos said that one common form of elder abuse is financial abuse. Bankers are mandatory reporters in California, and under state law they must report suspected financial abuse. Susan Quigley of Rabobank gave a presentation on tips to prevent elder abuse, including information on preventing financial abuse.

The tips, which were also published in the event program, included choosing a trustworthy caregiver, keeping records of valuables and jewelry, and alerting the police if anything seems suspicious.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we are getting the word out,” Ramos said.

Attendees at the senior information day also browsed vendors and service providers who had relevant services to offer. Exhibitors included health, social services and elder care facilities. Shredding services were also provided free to attendees by E & L Shredding company. Shredding documents with financial or personal information can keep that information out of the hands of people who might abuse it.

The California State University, Stanislaus Kinesiology Department offered free fitness and balance testing for adults age 65 years of older. Participants’ data was collected for an ongoing study on mobility in older adults. Kinesiology students conducted muscle function and balance testes and provided free results to participants.

“Aging affects people very differently. We start out about the same, as we get older we get much more diverse,” said Taylor Marcell, professor of kinesiology.

The information day was concluded with free lunches for attendees and volunteers provided by Paramount Court Senior Living and Covenant Village. SEPA hosts senior information days and dementia virtual tours across Stanislaus County. Their Turlock Senior Information Day is held on the last Friday in August every year. 

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.