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More 'vulnerable' adults in Washington state were abused in 2018, report says

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services received more than 60,000 reports of adult abuse in 2018. In 2017, they received 48,000 reports.

Editor's note: the above video was created in 2017 when Pierce County received a grant to address elder abuse. 

Abuse of vulnerable adults is at "unprecedented levels" according to a release by the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services. 

A vulnerable adult is listed as someone who is 60 years of age or older who cannot care for themselves because of a physical, functional or mental issue. It also includes any adult who is over 18 years old and has a developmental disability, under a legal guardian and is admitted to a DSHS-licensed facility or receives services in his or her own home. 

Related: Pierce County gets grant to fight elder abuse

There were 12,000 more reports of vulnerable adult abuse in 2018 than in 2017. In 2017, there were in 48,000 reports filed.

It can include neglect, abandonment, financial exploitation and physical, sexual or mental abuse. 

Related: Stan Lee's former manager arrested on elder abuse charges

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declared June 2019 as Adult Abuse Awareness Month with the goal that increasing awareness would promote education, identification and reporting of adult abuse.

You can report suspected cases of abuse online or by phone: 1-866-END-HARM.

Signs of adult abuse may include:

  • Inadequate food
  • Suspicious or unusual financial withdrawals
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Missed or cancelled appointments
  • A caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors in the home
  • An adult saying they've been abused

Learn more about the signs of abuse here