Elder Abuse Case Studies

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WOOSTER — The Wayne County commissioners and Job & Family Services workers wore purple Wednesday to raise awareness about elder abuse.
Director Rich Owens and Melissa Plotkin, who investigates complaints of elder abuse, talked about how the number of cases have been on the rise, how abuse/neglect/exploitation cases are investigated and the confidentiality of each investigation.
Over the past two years, Plotkin has been investigating between 280-290 cases annually. Which is up over previous years. She had been doing around 200, and it jumped to 240 before the recent increases.
For it to be considered an elder abuse case, the person must be at least 60 years old. If the complaint is an emergency, someone will visit the house within 24 hours. If
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It is estimated that for every single report of elder abuse there are 14 incidents that are not reported, according to figures provided by JFS.
Something that can be frustrating for family members is the privacy of these investigations. Once JFS receives a complaint and investigates, then all of the information is confidential, Owens said. Seniors have a right to privacy, as long as they are cognizant of person, place and time, he added. “It’s a very difficult position to be in.”
"Elder abuse is a terrible but preventable problem," ODJFS Director Cynthia C. Dungey said in a news release. "It affects all socioeconomic classes, races and genders. The more we spread the word about how to recognize and report it, the easier it will be to stop it from occurring and to make sure our older friends and family members get the help they need and the care they deserve."
ODJFS supervises the state 's Adult Protective Services program, which helps vulnerable adults age 60 and older who are in danger of harm, are unable to protect themselves and may have no one to assist

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