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Maine league co-authors brochure to battle elder financial abuse
WESTBROOK, Maine (6/3/14)--Continuing its fight to curb elder financial abuse, the Maine Credit Union League, as a contributing member of the Maine Council on Elder Abuse Prevention, has co-authored a brochure designed to help the public identify and prevent the statewide problem.

With facts and information about elder abuse, the brochure, released last week, is the latest effort by the league in its collaborative work with the council to raise awareness and illustrate how individuals can help prevent abuse.

"Unfortunately, this is a growing issue in Maine," said Quincy Hentzel, league director of governmental affairs. "Elder abuse comes in a variety of forms, including financial exploitation, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and abandonment.

"Maine credit unions have been proactive in participating in training and making other resources available to staff and members to learn the warning signs of not only financial exploitation, but other kinds of elder abuse."

The council has stepped up its efforts in raising awareness of this issue recently with new tools and education campaigns, such as the Senior$afe program that teaches staff members and other groups on how to keep seniors safe from financial exploitation, in addition to other types of abuse.

Facts included in the brochure:
  • One in 14 cases of elder abuse go unreported, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse;
     
  • About 33,000 Maine elders are abused each year, according to recent data, and 90% of the offenders are family members of the victim; and
     
  • The risk of death triples for those elders who suffer even modest amounts of abuse.
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