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Awareness helps stop often-unreported scourge of elder abuse

Jenny Hicks


Elder abuse usually occurs at home at the hands of family members and might be physical, emotional, sexual or financial. It often goes unreported because the victim feels isolated, afraid and ashamed. One way to fight elder abuse is to be aware of its warning signs, explains Jenny Hicks, project coordinator for the Abuse in Later Life program at Vera House, a local domestic and social service agency. Suspected elder abuse can be reported (confidentially, if needed) to the local Adult Protective Services (315-435-2815); Vera House provides services for older adults including a 24-hour crisis and support line: 315-468-3260; and the local Office for the Aging (315-435-2362) also can serve as a resource.