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December 5, 2008

Kansas Works to Halt Elder Abuse (Kan. USA)

BY RON SYLVESTER
The Wichita Eagle
Dec. 04, 2008

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said the public and law enforcement need to act more swiftly if they are to protect an aging population that's increasingly becoming victims of crimes.

About half of the elder abuse cases Six's office prosecutes involve financial exploitation, he said Wednesday while addressing Wichita's Triad Council, a task force involving law enforcement, social workers and others who provide services to seniors.

"Once that money is gone, it's very difficult to get back," Six said. "We can prosecute cases and give a measure of justice, but for these seniors, it's the money they need."
People over age 74 control most of the nation's wealth, reports show, followed by those over age 50. Because they tend to be more trusting, or live alone, they open themselves to abuse, say those who prosecute the cases.

Six said his office is trying to train bank tellers and others who come in contact with seniors to watch for signs that could tip off law enforcement that older people are being victimized.

In Salina, Six recalled, an elderly woman befriended a man in England on the Internet. She sent $300,000 overseas, where it disappeared.

Abridged
SOURCE: The Wichita Eagle




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