Officials warn community of elder abuse

3 months 6 days 18 hours ago Friday, July 13 2018 Jul 13, 2018 Friday, July 13, 2018 9:37:00 PM CDT July 13, 2018 in News
By: Hannah Thomas, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Elder law attorneys and the Department of Health and Senior Services are warning the community to keep a close eye out for elder abuse cases.

The World Health Organization classifies elder abuse as "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person."

In Missouri, more than 30,000 reports of adult abuse/neglect/exploitation were reported between October, 2016 and September, 2017.

According to the DHSS, 628 cases were reported in Boone County, 319 in Cole County, 286 in Pettis County and 368 in Phelps County.

Here is the breakdown of the different categories of elder abuse cases reported:

"I would say that the cases that we get are primarily financial crimes," said Boone County Assistant Prosecutor, Roger Johnson.

Elder abuse used to be a separate offense under Missouri law. As of January 1, 2017, elder abuse falls under the assault statutes and the elder person would be categorized as a special victim, according to Johnson.

The DHSS sees more cases of elder abuse in communities rather than in nursing homes.

"In nursing homes, there are more checks and balances. You have more people involved with supervision," Johnson said. "You're less likely to have a situation where somebody is exclusively dependent on one person for their care."

Johnson said isolation is also a factor when it comes to elder abuse cases. The elder is often isolated from their family and friends by a caretaker and then taken advantage of.

"I know it's a challenge in some cases because people want to maintain their independence and feel more comfortable in their homes, but it increases the risk because they may be more isolated in the community," Johnson said.

Heather McCreery, an elder law attorney, said many cases of elder abuse go unreported. 

"A lot of the times the victims are embarrassed. Embarrassment that this happened to them," McCreery said. "Sometimes they're even unwilling to testify against a family member. They don't want to see a family member prosecuted."

The DHSS offers a adult abuse and neglect hotline from 7 a.m. to midnight for anyone to report cases of abuse of a senior or disabled adult. 

However, McCreery says some clients have expressed frustrations with the hotline. They're left on hold for a long time and have a hard time getting in touch with someone.

"It's probably a hard enough choice to decide to call, and then you call and nothing happens or you can't get through and that is very frustrating," McCreery said. "We need to protect those people out there that are vulnerable."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke about health care in Columbia on Friday at Laborers Local 955, as part of... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:35:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After realizing the underrepresentation of Hispanic business owners in mid-Missouri, three Hispanic professionals established a group of 12... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the last week of the regular season and it's a cold one. Our game of... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - Two Midwest companies issued separate food recalls this week for bacterial contamination concerns. Hy-Vee said its supplier,... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 4:53:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
CAMDEN (AP) — Toxicology tests show that a boater was drunk when he slammed into a bluff at Missouri's Lake... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:41:35 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Legion of Black Collegians and the FourFront Marginalized Student Council held a solidarity walk Friday to show... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA), along with multiple medical associations, reaffirmed their opposition to the three... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For the fourth consecutive year, Project Homeless Connect provided services Friday for people who are experiencing homelessness... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot has soared to an estimated $1 billion, as the second-largest lottery... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 12:10:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police want the public's help finding a man who allegedly ran from a traffic stop after hurting... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 11:42:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Two MU residence halls and an atrium were officially dedicated on Friday honoring three former MU students. Lucile... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 10:09:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just 1 in 4 people thinks Brett Kavanaugh was completely honest when as a Supreme Court nominee... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 9:58:13 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The US moved closer to acknowledging the role of Saudi Arabia in journalist Jamal Khashoggi's apparent death as... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 9:36:16 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
RANDOLPH COUNTY - MoDOT announced they will close Randolph County Route CC from Route FF to Route K on Monday,... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 8:30:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Authorities have arrested a suburban St. Louis student after finding a loaded gun and a razor inside... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:46:15 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison in the 1984 beating death... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:10:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City doctor has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for his... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 6:51:00 AM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican opponent Josh Hawley were sometimes heated and often derisive as they... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 9:02:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
12am 54°
1am 53°
2am 52°
3am 51°