Elder abuse is happening more than you know

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - There's a calling in support of senior citizens who fear that elder abuse happens more than we know because the victims may be too afraid to come forward.

Organizers hope gatherings like the one held Wednesday could change that.

Loretta Witherspoon is one of more than 150 people who filled a room at Tuscaloosa's McDonald Hughes Center to learn more about identifying signs of elder abuse.

"It hurts to see someone take advantage others," Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon, a grandmother, said she's seen it affect people she knows and it still bothers her.

"I have seen things that have happened and I just want to know how we can better ourselves as seniors in order to help others," Witherspoon said.

Ashley Adcox with the West Alabama Area Agency of Aging says there are many ways elders can be abused.

"Financial, physical and emotional, neglect," she said.

But they're seeing more cases of people being scammed or becoming victims of financial fraud by family members.

"Often times when the senior realizes they've been scammed they're ashamed of it and they feel inferior and they feel afraid to tell people about it because they're afraid it'll make them look vulnerable," Adcox said.

The West Alabama Area Agency on Aging suggests calling them at 205-333-2990 or your local law enforcement agency if you know of an elder being harmed.

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