Health & Wellness
Building Bridges-The Service and Protection of Vulnerable Adults in our Community.
Various studies estimate that seniors in the U.S. are scammed out of anywhere from $3 billion to $37 billion a year. Between 2013 and 2017, those over age 70 lost an average of $41,800 to elder financial exploitation, according to an analysis by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Many elderly rely entirely on family or other trusted individuals to help them. Whether it is physiological or psychological, as people grow older they tend to need guidance and support. Unfortunately, the dependence upon caregivers or family members makes an older person more vulnerable to abuse.
One in ten Americans (age 60+) are suffering from some form of abuse. Worse yet, one study estimates that only one in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities. Many believe institutions for care, like assisted living and nursing homes, commit the most abuse. This is not so. 90 percent of elder abuse cases are perpetrated by family members.
A typical elder abuse story might go something like this:
An aging widow, relying on her children to provide meals, transportation, and to make financial decisions, finds it difficult to report abuse when one of her children takes advantage of her. The child takes her money, continually screams and belittles her and is neglectful in caregiving. Furthermore, the widow is threatened with loss of support from the child if the she complains.
In my presentation you will learn the following; what is elder abuse, how to recognize elder abuse, and what you can do to stop it in your community.
Dianna Kretzschmar- BSW, CCM Health Services Liaison at Village Health Care
Dianna is a strong community leader and passionate advocate for many causes. She has worked as a social worker and clinical case manager in long-term health care for over 30 years. She is the Health Services Liaison at Village Health Care and she most recently was with the Parks Foundation of Clark County where she served as the Executive Director.
Kretzschmar also serves on the boards of Elder Justice Center, the Friends of the Elder Justice Center and Mobile Medical Providers Northwest. She previously served as the first program coordinator for the Clark County Elder Justice Center in the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. In that role, she was instrumental in establishing the center, which educates, coordinates and fosters cooperation between professionals and public workers to find and prosecute cases of elder abuse.
Kretzschmar also served as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Clark County Vulnerable Adult Task Force. She is a volunteer for many community organizations and she spearheaded the successful #Every28days campaign, which was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as 2018’s Most Innovative Community Project. In 2013 Kretzschmar was also a recipient of the Clark College Foundation Iris Award, which celebrates women’s leadership and outstanding contributions to the community.
Dianna is married and the mother of 6 children and proud grandmother of 4. She enjoys playing the piano, and shopping and believes that “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” Mahatma Gandhi.
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