Bob Schaeffer - Office: 330-480-5078 Cell: 330-720-6545
The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Senior Citizens Unit was established in 2007 to improve service and to reduce victimization of Mahoning County’s senior population.
Members of the Senior Services Unit are responsible for the initial reporting of suspicious incidents involving seniors. This allows professionals to determine if there is a reason to suspect whether abuse, neglect (including self-neglect) or exploitation is occurring. Criminal cases are then forwarded to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.
The Senior Services Unit works in cooperation with seniors and their families to help find the appropriate assistance or intervention. It also provides a wide range of specialized training on aging issues for public safety officers who may work with the elderly. The unit conducts assessments of seniors who have been victimized or are vulnerable to future victimization and refers them to the numerous services available throughout the community. This referral system has been successful in preventing future abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the elderly.
A response team is available 24 hours a day to provide intervention or assistance in critical incidents involving the elderly.
The Mahoning County Senior Services Unit is a partnership of the Sheriff, and senior citizens.
A Partnership with Senior Citizens and Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office
The mission of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office Senior Services Unit is to enhance the law enforcement response to senior issues, and improve the quality of life in Mahoning County for the elderly. This undertaking is coordinated in Mahoning County through the efforts of seniors and the Mahoning County Sheriff working in partnership.
The Senior Services Unit coordinates with Law Enforcement and other professionals in the community who specialize in meeting the needs of seniors through planning, education, communication, cooperative strategies, and supportive services. Our commitment is to reduce victimization and enhance law enforcement services provided to our senior population.
Who Can Become A Partnership Member?
Any interested seniors, professional people, business and service organizations, or agencies that are willing to work in partnership with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Senior Services Unit are invited to join in this endeavor.
Training By The Senior Services Unit
The Senior Services Unit provides specialized training for Mahoning County Sheriff’s Deputies and other Law Enforcement members.
The Senior Services Unit also provides training for seniors in crime prevention tactics.
The Senior Help line provides information, assistance, and referrals for seniors. It is a confidential phone line that encourages citizens to call and report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
The help line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The number is:
330-747-2696 or call: 211
Personal Emergency Information Sheet
This is a program to assist emergency responders with critical medical information. The information will be contained in a magnetic plastic pouch that will be placed on the refrigerator of each participant.
Senior Watch Program
This program identifies people that are 60 and older, living alone or with a spouse, who would benefit from periodic visits from law enforcement. Seniors may contact the Senior Service Unit for information on becoming a participant. Also, through referrals from social service agencies, church/community organizations and law enforcement agencies, the program identifies seniors living with siblings or children at risk (grandparents raising grandchildren) who would benefit from this type of intervention. Seniors participating in this program will be visited by a Senior Watch patrol officer who will provide informational material and assistance. In the event that the need or concern cannot be satisfied at that level, the matter is referred to the Mahoning County Senior Services Coordinator for further assistance.
"Reduce the vulnerability of this specific demographic group
Assist people with accessing social services
Create a stronger presence in our communities
Help maintain senior’s independence as long as possible utilizing every resource available"
Typical behaviors associated with Alzheimer’s disease increase the likelihood of encounters with emergency response personnel. Professionals called to the scene, or who are confronted with a probable Alzheimer’s patient, may very well find themselves with a person who has no recollection of an alleged incident.
Individuals may be unable to comprehend the seriousness of the issue and may be unable to effectively communicate and respond to questions. It is not uncommon for emergency response personnel to find themselves confronted with an individual who appears to be uncooperative and in denial of verifiable events.
Alzheimer’s disease destroys a person’s ability to associate and recognize familiar landmarks. The individual’s ability to retrace road maps or recall familiar driving routes becomes diminished. Wandering behavior often increases at night and may pose serious safety concerns, especially if the person who wanders off during inclement weather, into remote areas, or into a high traffic area.
Auto Accidents – Traffic Violations
People with Alzheimer’s disease are not likely to follow rules and regulations as they are not able to remember them. The failure to stop at a traffic light or obey street signs and maintain safe driving speeds is not uncommon. Individuals involved in accidents may even flee the scene, unaware of any mishap.
Intoxication – D.U.I.
Erratic driving and failure to obey traffic signs may be caused by the effect of Alzheimer’s disease and the failure of the individual to recognize street signs and traffic lights for what they are. Failure of the officer to identify any signs of alcohol or drug use may warrant the need to look for the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease.
Victimization – False Reports
The person who has Alzheimer’s disease can become easy prey to con artists. However, lost or misplaced items may also be reported as stolen. Burglary attempts or strange intruders often turn out to be family members whom the person has forgotten. It is not uncommon for a person with Alzheimer’s disease to make false reports of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation against family members. Hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia are characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.
Homicide – Suicide
Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The future can become quite bleak for the caregiver. For that reason, the caregivers may find themselves unable to bear the burden of dealing with devastating disease and may choose to take matters into their own hands. Several cases of homicide/suicide involving Alzheimer’s patients are reported each year.
Sexual Behavior – Indecent Exposure
People with Alzheimer’s disease may express sexual activity at inappropriate times. Their sexual manners have been forgotten. Repetitive behavior exhibited such as fidgeting with zippers or buttons may be misinterpreted as a deviant behavior. Because judgment is often impaired, undressing in public or leaving one’s home without proper clothing is not uncommon.
If any of these behaviors are exhibited by someone you know or are related to, please contact the Mahoning County Senior Services Unit or the Alzheimer’s Association for information or assistance.
Important Phone Numbers For Seniors
Emergency Police, Fire & Medical
Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office
Senior Services Line
Adult Protective Services
Senior Help Line
211 or 330-747-2696
Elder Abuse Hotline
330-533-3300 or 1-800-272-3900