COLORADO SPRINGS – June marks Elder Abuse Awareness Month and key players in El Paso County are coming together to raise awareness about this ongoing problem in our community.
The Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition wants to put an end to elder abuse by welcoming the public to meet the organizations involved at a community event Friday, and learn ways to prevent it.
“It’s been around for 14 years. The [Colorado Springs] Police Department, Silver Key, adult protective services with [El Paso] County have been real key players,” said Dayton Romero, Director of Senior Assistance Programs at Silver Key and chair of the coalition.
CSPD detective Charles Szatkowski has been investigating crimes against the elderly for as long as the coalition has been around.
“It’s something that people don’t think about,” he said.
He’ll be speaking at the event about scams they can fall prey to.
“They’ll get a call from a grandson, a granddaughter who alleges that they are injured and in the hospital and they won’t help them until they pay,” Szatkowski explained.
And exploitation that can happen within their own household.
“Somebody starts controlling their finances, controlling their live,” Szatkowski described.
“You know, they isolate them from family members.. they turn off phones, they make you go through them to talk to them.”
But most importantly, Szatkowski wants to shed light on just how vulnerable they can be.
“We’ll assume that they’re capable of reporting or they don’t want to report,” he said.
“Dealing with challenges of daily life, of mobility and chronic disease and these sort of things, and those do make inherently someone vulnerable,” Romero said in agreement.
“We want to give people the tools to recognize those sort of things.”
If you’d like to attend the event, you can still RSVP by calling Silver Key’s main number at 719-884-2350 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meals will be provided for folks 60 years old and older.