Partnership Formed to Combat Elder Abuse
CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a collaboration between his office and the Council of Senior Tyler Countians that will bring crucial information to the doorsteps of senior citizens.
The partnership will open another channel of communication with elderly individuals who rely on the Tyler County program to deliver food to their homes.
“The Council of Senior Tyler Countians has tremendous experience in serving senior citizens,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The Council of Senior Tyler Countians knows the vulnerabilities seniors face, and together our partnership will provide for those who cannot make it to local senior centers. Our senior citizens are a precious resource and we must do everything possible to keep them from becoming the victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation.”
The partnership will ensure that meal recipients in Tyler County receive information that explains the red flags of financial abuse. Those rack cards and future scam alerts will provide quick information to raise awareness of the dangers targeting the elderly population.
“We always do our best to keep seniors alert of scams in our newsletters, and even I have received some of those scam calls myself,” said Amy Haught, director of the Council of Senior Tyler Countians.
“The big one in this area right now is the IRS scam, where someone calls and says you’ll go to prison if you don’t pay.”
The collaboration will complement the Attorney General’s elder abuse litigation and prevention unit, which includes a dedicated team of seasoned civil prosecutors to hold accountable anyone who exploits, abuses or neglects West Virginia’s senior citizens. It also utilizes the hotline, a scam alert database and the broad reach of its prevention component to partner with other entities and better connect seniors with the office’s already robust capabilities.
National research estimates 10 percent of persons age 60 and older have experienced some form of abuse or exploitation and in many instances the conduct goes unreported. That’s of particular concern in West Virginia where it is estimated 18.8 percent of the state’s population is 65 years and older.
Senior citizens in need of assistance should contact the state Attorney General’s senior services and elder abuse hotline at 304-558-1155 or HelpForSeniors@wvago.gov.
The hotline is open for senior citizens and their loved ones. Those preferring traditional mail can reach the office at P.O. Box 1789, Charleston, WV 25326.
The unit’s scam alert database is also key in raising awareness of potential scams. Senior citizens and their loved ones can subscribe to the email alerts at http://bit.ly/SeniorScamAlert.