Speak up and protect the elderly from abuse - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Speak up and protect the elderly from abuse

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Prosecutors from around North Carolina are meeting with law enforcement, DSS workers and others to talk about elder abuse.

Officials say the most common crimes seen in the justice system with the elderly focus on financial identity theft or financial crimes in general.

"We understand that a predator can steal more money with a click of a mouse or with a pen and a check book than they can with a gun and a ski mask," explained District Attorney Ben David. "So, we're ramping up enforcement efforts."

Authorities say the elderly are also commonly victims of physical abuse. Sometimes seniors don't have a big support network or are in confined living situations and conditions like Alzheimer's or dementia can make them vulnerable.

David wants to encourage people to speak up if they spot a problem.

"These classes of victims, and in this case we're talking about the elderly, is to build that trust where there's resources present that they know are there-- that will spring into action," said David. "Because nothing's more important than breaking that cycle of violence."

The public is welcome to attend a meeting about detecting signs of elder abuse at the New Hanover County Senior Center Friday, 6-8 p.m.

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