News Release


DATE: February 6, 2002

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



POWAY- Calls to the County's Elder Abuse Hotline increased dramatically during 2001 and County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is hoping enhanced community outreach efforts will help link seniors with agencies that can help prevent crimes against seniors.

Supervisor Jacob and the Poway Valley Senior Citizen Corporation have invited hundreds of Poway seniors to share their concerns about elder abuse with representatives from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, District Attorney's Office and an array of social service agencies. The forum will take place Thursday, Feb. 7 at 2 PM at the Weingart Center in Poway.

Last year, new calls to the County's Elder Abuse Hotline increased 160 percent over the previous year according to the County's Department of Aging and Independence Services. The hotline number is:

"The County sincerely hopes the increase in calls to the Elder Abuse Hotline is the result of greater public awareness of the hotline and not an increase in elder abuse," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. "Still, we must remain vigilant to educate our seniors about safety and pair seniors with resources that can help,' she said.

In addition to elder abuse, forum officials are prepared to discuss a variety of issues such as scams, loneliness, nutrition, transportation and finances. Church leaders and professionals from senior care facilities also will attend.

"When seniors become isolated from their communities the potential for danger increases," Jacob said. "Active seniors are far less likely to become victims of crime and that's why we want seniors to know that from meal delivery to exercise classes, San Diego County is home to hundreds of agencies striving to keep our seniors safe and healthy," she said.

Supervisor Jacob said she hopes the forum will help bridge what she calls an unfortunate gap between the County's senior population and regional public and private services available to help them. Jacob said she believes the County's third annual Aging Summit scheduled for April 3, 2002 will inspire seniors to stay involved in their community. Jacob is co-hosting the event.

There are 400,000 residents over the age of 60 in San Diego County. Seniors 85 and up comprise the fastest growing age group in the County.