Elderly Abuse A Growing Problem

Elderly people must often rely on others for things like trips to the doctor, handling their finances or chopping their firewood for winter. Theses relationships can be fulfilling for both sides. But people who are closest to the elderly are also the most likely to take advantage of their vulnerability.

Abuse of older people -- physical, emotional, sexual and financial -- is not a new problem, but it's increasing across the country. Observers say the majority of cases involve family members taking financial advantage of their parents or grandparents.
"Elder abuse is a hidden crime. It's insidious, and it's very difficult to get at," says Evert Fowle, Maine District Attorney. "Everybody in my office is sensitized to this issue, and we make an extra effort."

Cases have included situations in which people get power of attorney for an elderly person and then use the power to make off with the person's assets including joint banks accounts and deeds to the home of the elderly person.

For more go to: Keenebec Journal

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