Elder abuse conference held in Savannah

Elder abuse conference held in Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The DA's office is making a big push to keep seniors in our area safe.

A conference on elder abuse was held Friday at the Coastal Georgia Center.

Health care workers and senior advocates from around the region are learning about warning signs for an older adult that's being abused and what to do about it.

According to the National Center of Elder Abuse, research suggests for every one case of elder abuse reported to authorities, there are 24 cases not being reported.

With a growing elderly population, the risk factors for higher numbers of abuse cases increase every year.

In attendance, the new prosecutor hired by the DA's office specifically to handle these cases.

"We hope to raise awareness to get more reporting of incidents like this. It is one of the most under reported crimes we see and hopefully raise more awareness, so when someone sees bruises or something weird at the bank, they say, 'hey this doesn't look right,'" Maggie Hinchey DeLeon said.

Event organizers said it's important to look out for this vulnerable population and they're glad the DA's office is making this a priority.

"People over 65 are the fastest growing population in the nation and over 2 million are exploited and abused each year. At Senior Citizens Inc., our mission is to help people age successfully and if they're being abused they're not aging successfully," said Jenny house, VP of Senior Citizens Inc.

Organizers of Friday's event said it's up to the public to help look out for seniors in our community as well.

If you think a senior is being abused, contact adult protective services or call the police department and request a wellness check.

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