Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Seniors told Elder Abuse Problem is Growing


Members of the law enforcement community, abuse experts and a state representative warned yesterday that mistreatment of senior citizens is a growing problem.

Speaking at the Senior Citizens Center, the group discussed signs of abuse, prosecution of cases and ways state lawmakers are working to solve the problem.

Marilyn Grove, director of the senior center, said the problem of elder abuse is something that is often overlooked.

"We're trying to raise awareness in the community," Grove said. "(Elder abuse) is one of those things where people want to deny that it happens, but it does."

"Adult protective services continues to be a national disgrace," Baker said. " It's at the point where child protective services were about 40 years ago."

"Our two biggest fears are change and death," Baker said. "Anytime you threaten to change a person's way of life, it scares them."

"I value our senior community. I think they're an asset that should be celebrated," Bell said. "Taking advantage of elders is an abomination, and anyone who does it should be prosecuted. Cases against elders should be treated no differently than any other types of cases."

Bell concluded by saying that local law enforcement and judicial officials do not take crimes against seniors lightly.

Abridged >>

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