Lubbock non-profit supports victims of elder abuse, awarded $5,000 grant

Lubbock non-profit supports victims of elder abuse, awarded $5,000 grant

(KCBD) - Llano Estacado Silver Star Board has been awarded a grant of $5,000 from Superior Health Plan.  The grant will be used to assist Adult Protective Services (APS) clients who are identified as being abused, neglected, or exploited.  The organization will use this grant to provide financial assistance to specific APS clients that live in Lubbock and surrounding counties.

The Llano Estacado Silver Star Board is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to support certain clients of APS.  The board is composed of civic-minded citizens some of whom are retired, others who are employed in elder care or social work and others in non-related fields.  Members recognize the limited funding that APS receives to provide concrete/financial assistance to its clients and commit to helping the needy.  The board also has an assigned APS staff liaison (no voting privilege) who attends board meetings, schedule permitting.  The organization depends heavily upon the generosity of the general public and businesses in our area for funding.

The Llano Estacado Silver Star Board serves an average of 660 clients that live in Lubbock and the surrounding counties.  The typical client served is someone 65 or older or disabled persons 18 and over who have been identified by APS personnel as having been abused, neglected or exploited.  Most are low-income.  Many have serious health problems or physical disabilities and live in dire circumstances.  Frequently the victims are home-bound.  Some elders maintain their own home, others live with family, friends or in elder care facilities. Examples of assistance provided include help for rent, utilities, provision of heaters or air conditioners, bus passes, ramps for disabled clients, unusual dental needs, emergency pet care, small home repairs, repairs to utility lines, emergency food and supplies, etc.

Elder Abuse being a "hidden issue" in society adds a degree of difficulty in procuring funds.  Elder Abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, neglect (including self-neglect) and abandonment.  The perpetrators include children, other family members, spouses and friends as well as staff at nursing homes, assisted living and other facilities.

Signs of elder abuse may be missed by professionals working with older Americans because of lack of awareness and adequate training on detecting abuse.  The elderly may be reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/ or cognitive ability to report, or because they do not want to get abuser in trouble.