JOHNSTOWN — As far as states with the oldest populations go, Pennsylvania hovers near the top, depending on which statistical report you read. Along with an ever-growing elderly demographic comes more instances of seniors being abused or cheated out of money.
Local community leaders and officials from the state Department of Aging organized a seminar on elder justice Thursday at the Senior Activities Center on Main Street in downtown Johns-town. More than 400 people registered, according to M. Veil Griffith, director of the Cambria County Area Agency on Aging. She said the prime focus was to educate the elderly and their families on the growing issue.
“The whole purpose is really to let the seniors know about the scams, the financial exploitation, the things they need to watch out for and what they can do, who they can call,” she said.
According to Denise Getgen, who heads the consumer protection division of the state aging department, more than 18,400 claims of elderly abuse were reported for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Of those, 74 percent were investigated by elder abuse task forces, with 40 percent of the investigations – more than 5,000 – turning up some evidence of abuse. Read more »