Elder Abuse Growing Problem In Maine

Posted October 29, 2009 BySusan Kimball, wcsh6.com   FALMOUTH (NEWS CENTER) — There are an estimated fourteen thousand cases of elder abuse in Maine every year. And most of them go unreported.   At a seminar in Falmouth on Wednesday, experts talked about the problem. Former Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe says that in most cases it’s a family member or caretaker who is physically, emotionally, psychologically or sexually abusing their elderly relative.   Financial exploitation is also a huge problem.  Rowe says when it comes to the elderly it’s everybody’s business to be involved.   “We all have a responsibility to intervene. We need to know our neighbor. If we have an elderly person who lives next door we need to know that person’s habits and if we see a change we need to get involved,” said Rowe.   All too often, those being abused won’t report it. They may be too afraid or too ashamed to come forward. Or they may be so dependent upon the abuser that they see no way out.   But there is plenty of help available.  Calling 1-877-ELDERS-1 will connect you to the Area Agency On Aging in your county. Adult Protective Services can be reached at 1-800-624-8404–that is the agency’s 24 hour hotline.   Legal Services for the Elderly can also offer assistance. The number there is 1-800-750-5353.   Sexual Assault Agencies can be reached by calling 1-800-871-7741. And Domestic Violence agencies, at 1-800-537-6066.

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