Would you recognize elder abuse if you saw it?

By Eva Veitch

Dear Editor:

Financial exploitation targeting older adults is a major problem in the United States. As many as five million older adults fall victim to financial abuse each year at an estimated cost of $3 billion annually. It is a threat to the health, safety, dignity and independence of older adults; together we can help prevent it. Financial abuse occurs when someone illegally or improperly uses your money or property for their own benefit; it can be committed by someone you know or by a complete stranger.

Exploitation is often committed by persons you know and trust but can be anyone who has access to your personal information. Potential abusers are frequently people with substance abuse issues, gambling problems, untreated mental illness and those who are struggling financially.

Region 10 Community Living Services and our community partners have embarked on a campaign to bring awareness to the problem of elder abuse and exploitation. Knowledge is power; we have attorneys, adult protective services personnel, long term care ombudsman and local law enforcement available to provide community presentations to educate the public. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation please contact Madison at Region 10 970-765-3125 for a list of topics. Senior housing, churches, staff meetings, homeowners associations and senior centers are great places for these presentations. New scams are appearing almost daily and the scammers are very good at what they do, help us get the word out and keep our friends and neighbors safe.

For more information go to our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ElderAbuseWestern

Slope or call us at Region 10 970-765-3125.

Eva Veitch
Community Living Services Program Director, Region 10