“Older Ohioans are vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation for a number of reasons,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Through the Elder Justice Initiative, the Attorney General’s Office will work with local officials and advocates to identify, investigate, and prosecute elder abuse cases and increase services to victims.”

Elder abuse comes in all shapes and forms. It can range from the physical and emotional form to financial exploitation. Whatever the form, elder abuse is wrong and authorities are stepping up to help victims.

In a recent wmfd.com article titled Ohio Attorney General Launches Elder Justice Initiative,reference is made to a Justice Department study within the past few years which estimated that about one in nine people 60+ suffers abuse each year. For every one case reported to authorities, it is believed five more go unreported. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009 found victims of elder abuse have a 300% higher risk of death than individuals not subject to abuse.

Ohio’s population of adults age 60 or older, like most other states, is expected to grow significantly in coming years. This means there is the very real potential for a big increase in elder abuse cases in the years ahead. Ohio’s Attorney General’s Office is getting ready by conducting intense elder abuse training for law enforcement and victim advocates; consumer awareness efforts; investigation and prosecution of patient abuse and neglect in care facilities; and investigation and prosecution of those who perpetrate scams and fraud.

Elder abuse and exploitation can happen anywhere, not just Ohio. Talk to an elder law attorney or proper law enforcement authorities if you suspect or see the signs of elder abuse.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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