10 January 2014

A Welcome Emphasis On Elder Abuse

Examples of elder abuse in the headlines range from baffling to horrifying: from the lonely old widower conned out of his life savings by a pretty young woman to the invalid grandmother found restrained to her bed, covered in bedsores and filth.

Sadly, with the population growing grayer, elder abuse is on an upward curve. So it’s encouraging that many prosecutors — including Pierce County’s Mark Lindquist — are devoting more resources to the problem. His office got an additional $200,000 in the county’s 2014 budget to expand the Elder Fraud and Abuse team to include two deputy prosecutors and a legal assistant.

Prosecuting elder abuse has special challenges. As in child abuse and domestic violence cases, the victimizer is typically a family member, which can complicate prosecution if the victim is hesitant to testify. And many victims have some form of dementia, making them easy targets and often unreliable witnesses.

Too often, how Grandma is being treated is considered a private “family matter,” but that’s slowly changing as more people become aware of the signs of elder abuse.

Get the full article: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/01/10/2986582/a-welcome-emphasis-on-elder-abuse.html

What the judicial branch in our societies must do is stop treating elder abuse, financial elder abuse as civil matters, enforce as many criminal statutes regarding these types of crimes as possible and prosecute those that commit them.

Yep, if we don't speak up and speak out we are all just as guilty as those that commit these crimes.

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