Monday, May 14, 2007

They Don't Believe That Something Like That Could Ever Happen to Them."

Even before the first wave of baby boomers arrives at retirement age, senior fraud and abuse are on the rise.

Lisa Yarber, director of the Senior Center and Office on Aging in Sevier County, said she's concerned because incidents are underreported.

"No one wants to say, 'That happened to me' - they're embarrassed," Yarber said. "And they don't believe that something like that could ever happen to them."

The first of the baby boomers turned 60 last year, meaning that the number of seniors will rise dramatically and "will continue to increase over the next 20 years, meaning there are a lot more potential victims," Knox County Assistant District Attorney General Del Holley said.

Seniors and caregivers from 17 counties in East Tennessee will come together Thursday for the Regional Senior Summit at the Knoxville Expo Center. Experts on fraud and abuse will speak at the event, which also will feature exhibits and free health screenings.

"Senior citizens are one of the most vulnerable groups in our population, and they are frequently targeted by criminals,"

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