SRS aims to curb elder abuse

Topeka — State officials on Friday announced increased efforts to try to protect elderly Kansans from abuse.

From July 1 through March 30, there were 11,154 reports of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of adults, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services reported.

“It is apparent there are Kansas adults who are suffering silently,” said Jim Kallinger, SRS deputy secretary.

State Rep. Ramon Gonzalez, R-Perry, who is also a law enforcement official, said he has seen cases of elder abuse up close.

“It always bothers me when they go on for a while and no one reports it,” said Gonzalez, who is police chief in Perry and an investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Kallinger said SRS will increase training of social workers in elder abuse and is hiring four more adult protective services employees.

The agency announced its efforts in connection with international elder abuse awareness day.

Signs of adult abuse include bruises or other physical marks, hurtful comments, weight loss, depression, isolation and problems paying bills.

SRS says to report suspected abuse of an adult, call the Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330.