Attorney General Lockyer Announces The Month of May as Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month

Monday, May 3, 2004
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced passage of Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 154, by Assembly Member Barbara Matthews, D-Tracy, proclaiming May as "Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness Month."

"Almost a quarter million elderly Californians each year become victims of financial, physical, or mental abuse," Lockyer said. "As California's population of elderly residents swells to more than 6.4 million in 20 years, it is crucial we all do our part to detect and report those who prey on our family members, friends and neighbors who make up the‘Greatest Generation.' "

"It is my hope that by declaring May ‘Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Awareness' month, we can shed light on a very disturbing and unfortunately growing problem of elder and dependent adult abuse," said Matthews.

Since Lockyer took office in 1999, criminal filings by the Attorney General's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA) have increased 758%. The BMFEA has obtained more than $2 million in court-orderd fines, penalties and restitution related to elder abuse cases.

The Attorney General's Office also has launched a public awareness campaign to raise awareness about the problem of elder and dependent adult abuse. "Face It. It's a Crime" urges the public to report any suspected elder abuse by calling a toll-free number (1-888-436-3600), which will connect the caller to their local adult protective services agency or the long-term care ombudsman crisis line.

In June 2002, the Attorney General's office distributed mandatory training materials to all of California's long-term care facilities on how to recognize and report elder and dependent adult abuse. All long-term care facility employees are required to receive this training outlining their legal responsibilities as mandated reporters of abuse.

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