NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services officials are asking us all to keep an eye out for our older community members.
Adult Protective Services Supervisor Lisa Wodkowski says the county averages about 12 new cases reported to them of possible elder abuse or neglect each month.
“We investigate allegations of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation of senior citizens in our community ages 60 and older,” she says. “Any of those types of cases, we have to investigate.”
Wodkowski says the majority of these cases involve self-neglect, when someone can’t take care of themselves due to a physical or mental health condition.
“If they have, say, a relative that they’re concerned about being able to meet their own needs. Oftentimes, people their health will decline and they’re unable to take care of their home, assure that they’re eating proper meals, that they’re taking their medications correctly. We get a lot of those cases,” she says.
Wodkowski says JFS can then set up some home services to assist so the client in these self-neglect cases can still live at home and have their needs met.