Conference Sheds Light on Elder Abuse

By  | 

Nebraska state officials say elderly abuse is happening more than you think.

Many older and vulnerable adults in Nebraska are the victims of financial exploitation, neglect and physical abuse.

Hundreds of people who attended a conference in Kearney are learning how to make Nebraska free of elder abuse.

"It's important for the community to come together and recognize when those things are happening and to get those reported," said Julie Hippen with the Department of Health and Human Services.

The abuse isn't just physical. Experts say, it can be verbal or come in the form of isolation

"One of the primary locations elder abuse happens is in the home or the residence of the person," said Michelle Zinke with the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition.

The abuser might surprise you, officials say, often times its the person you'd least suspect.

"Typically the perpetrator of the abuse is someone who is known to the victim and someone who has a trusted relationship with them," said Zinke.

More times than not it's that trusted person who takes advantage of an elderly person financially too, but sometimes the scam comes in the form of a phone call.

"And there are different types of scams and frauds as well, and elderly people can be more pronged to that," commented Hippen.

So if you get a phone call from a scamer or someone wanting your personal information the best thing to do is to hang up.