SANTA ANA (CBS) — The number of reported incidents of elder abuse is on the rise in Orange County, according to a report released Monday.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports the Orange County Adult Protective Services (APS) is averaging as many as 600 reports of abuse every month.

A grand jury report entitled “Elder Abuse: The Perfect Storm” (PDF) cited over 7,200 reports of adult abuse in 2011, with nearly 75 percent of cases involving seniors 65 or older.

The report found seniors over 85 who suffer from dementia or other illness are as much as six times more likely to be victimized by abuse than their counterparts in the 65-84 age range.

Among the more common forms of abuse involve financial predators such as the one cited in the report’s “Good Samaritan” scenario, where “Mr. C” paid a “caring middle-aged woman at his church” to perform cooking and housekeeping duties for “a reasonable fee”.

“She eventually moved into his home and persuaded Mr. C. to allow her access to his financial accounts,” according to the report. “When she left six months later, Mr. C. learned that she has stolen all his assets.”

Multiple cases of emotional and sexual abuse, abandonment, and neglect were also cited in the report, which recommended the county Board of Supervisors to conduct a yearlong study on the availability and performance of elder care resources countywide.

Orange County Adult Protective Services offers a 24-hour hotline to report incidents of elder abuse at
(800) 451-5155.


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