HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – June 15’th marks World Elder Abuse Day, and to raise awareness, the Department of Aging shined a light on one of the most rapidly growing forms of it, financial exploitation.

According to a study led by the department’s task force, over half of the victims are female, live alone and average 79 years of age.

The study also found that 65% of the perpetrators were family members, with 42% being adult children.

The report led the department to come up with approaches to better detect and prevent further financial exploitation among older Pennsylvanians.

“We want to design an online reporting portal that will provide a simple, easy to understand form to use in reporting suspected cases of financial exploitation,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres.

Director of Senior Protection David Shallcross gave another recommendation.

“Let’s make sure law enforcement has the tools they need…how to interview an older adult, how to understand the complexities of cognitive issues and to work within those boundaries. So what are we going to do, we’re going to have training events.”

The department is also pushing for legislative action, in that updates be made to Pennsylvania’s Older Protective Services Act.

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