By ED MAHON
Daily Record/Sunday News
Elder abuse reports have increased in Pennsylvania and York County, officials said at Wednesday's county commissioners' meeting.
In a proclamation, County Commissioner Doug Hoke said elder abuse reports in Pennsylvania increased by 35 percent from 2007 through 2011.
Stephanie Frey, director of social services with the York County Area Agency on Aging, said York County has seen an increase, as well.
"We're averaging about 55 reports of need each month," Frey said during the meeting. "And we've really seen a lot of financial exploitation cases."
Frey said afterward that people can report cases of suspected abuse to the local agency.
"We will take that report, and we fully investigate all types of abuse that ... are out there," Frey said.
Types of abuse can include physical, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual, as well as neglect, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
Wednesday's proclamation named Saturday as a day dedicated to elder abuse prevention in York County. Hoke said there are about 86,000 county residents age 60 or older.
A Department of Aging news release from earlier this month said Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd is chairwoman of the newly established Elder Law Task Force, which was formed to study issues relating to guardianship, abuse and neglect, and access to justice for older Pennsylvanians.
The task force will make recommendations for court rules, legislation, education and best practices, according to the release. Amy Kelchner, spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, said the task force expects to deliver recommendations mid-2014.
By the numbers
Here is a look at the number of reports of need for protective services for York County in recent fiscal years:
2008-09: 499 reports
2009-10: 593 reports
2010-11: 630 reports
Statewide, there were 18,129 such reports, and 4,344 of the cases were substantiated as needing protective services.
Source: Older Adults Protective Services Annual Report for fiscal year 2010-11 from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging
How to report supposed abuse
For the York County Area Agency on Aging, call 717-771-9610 or 1-800-632-9073.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging says people can also contact a 24-hour statewide elder abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505.
For more information, visit www.aging.state.pas.
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