Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Law Cracks Down on Elder Abuse

CHEYENNE - Posted 3-19-2007 A.P. A new law will attempt to fight elder abuse by closing legal loopholes and hiring four people to train those who investigate such crimes.Experts say that while the law will be helpful after it takes effect July 1, it also will highlight the need for even more people to investigate elder abuse.

The Wyoming Department of Family Services says recorded incidents of elder abuse in the state have increased 61 percent since 2001. Nationwide, however, it is estimated that 84 percent of adult abuse cases are never reported.

"Every day, when we work in communities, we see a tremendous number of abuses that go on," said Beverly Morrow, administrator of the Aging Division at the Wyoming Department of Health. "Some of them are horrendous. Our population is growing older, faster, than most other states in the country. It's a growing problem that's going to get worse."

One loophole currently exempts anyone besides caregivers from being charged with elder abuse or neglect. The new law will close that loophole.The new law also seeks to crack down on elder intimidation and financial abuse.

In addition, the law provides for the hiring of four people to train police and child protective services staff, who handle adult abuse cases.

Don't worry Florida, you might be last on the list but your turn is coming- Someday when Floridians say enough! One day when the problem is so widespread that everyone will know a relative of friend that been affected by elder abuse, and that day is not too far off.

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