While there are several different kinds of elder abuse, sources differ as to which is the most common form of abuse. One study found that financial mistreatment was the most common kind of elder abuse. Another found emotional abuse to be the most common. Yet another found that physical abuse and neglect were the most common forms of elder abuse. No matter which is most common when abuse is reported, it must be investigated and if necessary, prosecuted. To that effect, West Virginia has launched an elder abuse litigation and prevention unit, as WVNSTV.com reports.
Patrick Morrisey, Attorney General for West Virginia, announced the creation of an elder abuse litigation and prevention unit.
On average, 10% of persons aged 60 or older has been the victim of some kind of elder abuse or exploitation. A large number of these instances goes unreported. More than 18% of West Virginia’s population is comprised of seniors, making this statistic troubling.
The unit will be comprised of seasoned prosecutors whose job it will be to hold anyone charged with elder abuse or neglect accountable. A hotline will also be instituted to make the reporting of such instances easier.
The team will also help seniors with preneed funeral contracts, power of attorney, and help both the seniors and family members recognize the potential signs of abuse or neglect.
The unit will also institute a scam alert database in the hopes of recognizing scams that often target the elderly.
The unit will also hold accountable and revoke the certifications of nursing aides who are accused of abuse and neglect. Similar action will be taken against neglectful hospital workers.