Ohio state elder justice unit leads talk on senior financial abuse

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - The Ohio Attorney General's office visited Marietta to raise awareness for the rising problem of senior exploitation.

The attorney general's elder justice unit led an educational symposium at Buckeye Hill Regional Council. It educated different professional from medicine, law, law enforcement and more about elder abuse, specifically financial exploitation.

Last year, a new Ohio law went into effect expanding mandatory reporters of senior abuse to include more groups such as pharmacists, first responders, bankers and more.

"The biggest problem with an adult is we assume competency and capacity," elder justice unit director Sylvia Pla-Raith said. "So it's very difficult to help someone that doesn't understand they need help, so what type of resources are available to help someone like that."

"Our concern is making sure these seniors who have worked their whole lives," Washington County Job and Family Services director Flite Freimann said, "get to keep their savings and not have it stolen from them."

Organizers added senior abuse is expected to rise. A recent study from Miami University showed by 2025, more than one in four Ohioans will be 60 and older.