What's New in Aging & Disability Services
June 15th is world elder abuse awareness day
Today we celebrate older adults and bring much needed attention to the struggles many endure. Policies and practices in place make it hard for older people to stay involved with and connected to our communities as they age. As a result, older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect. It happens here in our small county.
In 2020, there were 71 reported cases of elder abuse. Three were an additional 32 reported cases of abuse of at-risk adults under the age of 60. The highest number of referrals were for self-neglect; 14% for were financial exploitation; 10% were for emotional abuse. 70% of the alleged abusers were a son, daughter, spouse or grandchild.
We can design stronger societal supports to keep older people connected and protect them from abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical or sexual. When we address a root cause, like social isolation, we also make it less likely that people will experience abuse, whether financial, emotional, physical or sexual. We can and must create healthier and safer living environments for older adults.
It is up to everyone to prevent and address elder abuse. Talk about it –If you see something -say something. Volunteer to be a friendly visitor and either call, mail or email an older person living in the community. Offer your support: assist in arranging meal or grocery delivery services for someone who is a caregiver or an older adults who is alone and not connected to anyone. Don’t tolerate ageism – this begins with not making fun of older adults.
If you suspect elder or adult at risk abuse or neglect, please contact the Bayfield County Department of Human Services at 715-373-6144 or your local law enforcement.
Help preventing gift card scammers
Scammers attempt to convince their victims to submit payments via gift cards for fake tickets, outstanding debts, or to prevent utilities or services from suspension. These imposters prefer payment via gift card because gift cards are like cash. Once you turn over the card number, the transaction cannot be canceled, refunded, or traced, often leaving the victim out hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Gift cards are for gifts, not for payments. Free warning signs are available to retailers for their gift card displays by calling WI DATCP Consumer Protection Hotline (800)422-7128. Consumers who may have been the victim of a scam can file a complaint online at www.datcp.wi.gov.
LIVING WELL NEWSLETTER
This guide was created as a tool to help minimize effects of social isolation and loneliness of older adults
who live in Bayfield County. This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources, but is instead a guide to
assist community members to think outside the box to make connections and continue their
engagement in activities and programs that can be viewed and explored from the comfort of your own
GOVERNOR’S TASK FORCE ON CAREGIVING
The Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving was created to support and strengthen the direct care workforce, increase access to care, and improve the quality of caregiving in Wisconsin. The Task Force welcomes input from family caregivers, professional caregivers, health care providers and other citizens interested in improving working conditions for individuals who care for people with disabilities and older adults, leading to a better quality of care for the people they serve. Link to The Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving.
SERVICE PROVIDERS NEEDED!
Bayfield County Human Services is experiencing a shortage of service providers to assist children with disabilities. We are looking for: mentors, supportive home care workers, daily living skills coaches, respite providers, and in-home nursing staff. We have several children with funding approved from the State of Wisconsin, but no people to provide the services they need. Some of these services are needed on a daily basis, but others are only once or twice per month. If you have experience working with people with special needs, or you have some extra time and kindness to share with a local family, we need you! Please contact the Youth Services Coordinator, Kristin Opperman, at 715-373-6144, ext. 83356 or email Kristin Opperman.