Elderly abuse real and widespread

Montgomery County State's Attorney weighs in on elderly abuse

wtopstaff | November 15, 2014 7:32 am

WASHINGTON –Montgomery County will join communities around the world this week in raising awareness about elderly abuse.

Though abuse can include physical, even sexual harm and neglect, it can also involve serious financial exploitation, like seniors contracting out for home repairs with a phony outfit and getting charged thousands of dollars for minor work.

“We see that on an epidemic level,” says John McCarthy, State’s Attorney for Montgomery County. He tells WTOP they see such abuses all of the time, and they don’t necessarily involve strangers.

“More than 50 percent of abuses cases, particularly those involving financial abuse, occur by family members taking advantage of their own loved ones,” he says.

McCarthy is hoping everyone keeps a closer eye on older neighbors and relatives.

“If you suspect abuse against a senior you can call adult protective services,” he says.

“We do believe we can educate the public about the at-risk signals.”

WTOP’s Nick Ianelli contributed to this report

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