Adult abuse cases in Washington state skyrocket over the last five years
YAKIMA, Wash.- We may worry about our parents or grandparents as they start to get older.
A recent study from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) shows we may have to keep an even closer eye on them.
In 2012, they had around 19,000 cases of adult abuse in Washington but that number has greatly increased in the last five years.
In 2017, the number of cases rose to almost 50,000. Which is more than two and a half times as much.
"To have the numbers continue to go like this year after year is certainly concerning for us and should be concerning for everyone," DSHS spokesperson Chris Wright said.
People usually over the age of 60 or those with disabilities can be affected by adult abuse, but that doesn't mean they're all seeing some sort of physical violence.
DSHS said more and more cases are about taking advantage of their money.
"Last year, over 10,000 investigations so it's making up almost a fourth of total investigations for abuse," Wright said.
A group in Yakima called Aging and Long-Term Care (ALTC) tries to help and protect people from these types of abuse as they get older by connecting them with local resources.
Such as a homecare giver or an attorney.
Corrie Blythe with ALTC said designating someone as your decision maker in case something happens to you is an easy step to protect your future, but be sure to get it in writing.
That person could be a family member or friend, but the key is to let that person know what's important to you going forward.
“It only takes one life crisis to put us at risk. So, individuals with any kind of vulnerability like a medical issue or a physical issue have the opportunity for other individuals or situations to compromise them,” Blythe said.
You can also be the one to help someone that may be facing some sort of adult abuse.
Blythe said pay attention to any changes you might see in a person and don't be afraid to let them know what you see.
“Share it with the person as well. 'I'm concerned about you. Do you mind if I get a hold of the aging and disability resources center and just have them give you a call?' that's a good way to do it,” she said.
If you want to make an adult abuse report can click the link or call 1-866-363-4276.