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Elder abuse is frequent, but not investigated


Casper, WY - Law enforcement faces several barriers in identifying, prosecuting and preventing elder abuse, experts said Thursday.

Elder abuse -- including physical abuse, financial exploitation and negligence -- is increasing because the state's population is aging. More people are reaching their 85th birthdays and more senior citizens are living at home -- away from regulations of health care facilities.

Most cases occur in the home, said Randy Thomas, who offers domestic and elder abuse training to law enforcement. About 45 percent of perpetrators in elder abuse cases are family members. The conference continues today at the University of Wyoming Outreach Building, 951 N. Poplar St.

"It happens every day in numbers we don't want to think about," said Thomas of South Carolina. "Just look at the demographics. The public just doesn't care."

August 1, 2008

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