Elder abuse in Wisconsin rose 160 percent from 2001-2017

Eau Claire (WQOW) – New data shows more elderly people are being abused in Wisconsin.  According to numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, reports of elder abuse and neglect rose 160 percent from 2001-2017.

The Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse held a meeting at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Thursday. From 2001-2017, Chippewa Valley elder abuse reports went up 3,000 percent.

The D.O.J. found there are now more ways to exploit seniors financially, criminals are getting better with their crimes, and because of an increase in more senior citizens, there are more elderly people to be victimized.  Elder abuse awareness is also rising, meaning more people are reporting they’ve been abused or neglected.

The Task Force found that some elderly people who may have trouble understanding or communicating can’t report their own abuse.

Heather Bruemmer, Executive Director and State Long-Term Care Ombudsman for the state of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care, is on the Attorney General’s task force.  Bruemmer said senior citizen advocates, social service agencies, caregivers and more are on that task force.

"And you know within the long term care Ombudsman program, we’ve had an increase of abuse, whether it’s financial, physical, sexual, and really trying to tackle some of those issues, and really training is really a key component for that subgroup as well," said Bruemmer,

Bruemmer said training tellers to notice odd behavior in bank accounts could help save seniors from financial abuse.  Task force members also talked about raising awareness with lawmakers about elder abuse.

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