MANKATO (TEC News) - The state of Minnesota has started a statewide campaign to help identify and stop the neglect, exploitation, and abuse of its elderly residents.
The "Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation of Elders in Minnesota Initiative" wants to help educate the state's population on how to help recognize the problem, and let victims know where to get help.
Even through there were nearly 30,000 cases of elder abuse investigated by Minnesota social services in 2012, it remains one of the most under-reported crimes. The crimes can be difficult to spot, and often come from those with family ties.
Iris Freeman, associate director of the Center for Elder Justice & Policy at William Mitchell College of Law says that reduced mental capacity and wealth sparks the abuse, but is not limited to that: Freeman 1 "their money" :16
To help spot the abuse, people should watch out for relatives, friends, and neighbors. A change in routine or life circumstances that can't be explained may be a sign of poor health or abuse.
It is estimated that scam artist steal more than $3 billion annually from the 55-plus population.