The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an Elder Justice website to help fight abuse and financial exploitation.
The site is designed to serve as a resource for prosecutors, researchers and practitioners as well as victims and their families. It also will serve as a forum for law enforcement members and policy experts to share information and contribute to public awareness about elder abuse.
“While there are many other victim support websites available, we believed that the department could add significant value in this domain by consolidating information nationwide and making it more user-friendly,” said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery.
Ten percent of those aged more than 60 years experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect, according to the justice department, which has identified elder abuse as a priority as it seeks to lessen the billions of dollars in burdens on the country's healthcare, financial and judicial systems each year. Financial exploitation also is an issue for older Americans, who lose more than $2.9 million annually in consumer scams and healthcare fraud schemes, according to the department.
“The launch of the Elder Justice website...marks another milestone in reaching our shared goal of keeping older Americans safe from abuse and neglect,” said Associate Attorney General Tony West. “The more we embrace our elders with respect and care, the stronger our society will be. This tool helps move us closer to that goal.”
Partners in attendance included the Federal Trade Commission, the American Bar Association, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the National Association for Medicaid Fraud Control Units, the Office of the U.S. Attorney General for the District of Columbia, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Social Security Administration.