World Elder Abuse Awareness: How to Keep Older Adults Safe from Financial Elder Abuse

The City of Pasadena and WISE & Healthy Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program recognize that elder abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. As June 15th is officially Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Pasadena, purple flags will be placed on the lawn of the Pasadena Public Health Department to signify the number of abuses reported by Pasadena residents and to honor those who have been affected by elder abuse.

In 2006, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD serves as a call to action for our communities to raise awareness about the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders and reaffirm our country’s commitment to the principle of justice for all.

“Elder abuse is a serious issue affecting one of the most vulnerable groups in our nation,” said Manuel Carmona, acting director of the Pasadena Public Health Department. “Older adults deserve to live with dignity, security, and appreciation.”

Each year, an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited. Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences and can result in significant financial loss. In the U.S., the estimated loss by victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $2.6 billion, according to the National Council on Aging. Unfortunately, it occurs in every demographic and can happen to anyone—a family member, a neighbor, or even you. Experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, in part because so many of our communities lack the social support that would make it easier for those who experience abuse to report it. Research suggests that as few as 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse come to the attention of authorities.

In 2022, the Pasadena Police Department received 31 reports of elder abuse in Pasadena. Elder abuse comes in many forms, including neglect and financial, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. “We have a collective responsibility to protect senior residents by recognizing and reporting elder abuse when it occurs,” said Police Chief Eugene Harris. “Anyone with questions concerning elder abuse is urged to call the special victim unit supervisor, Sgt. Brian Bulaon, at (626) 744-3863.”

Help prevent and address elder abuse by reporting it to authorities as soon as it is suspected.

To report elder abuse in Pasadena, call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241.