AG Schimel Hosts Task Force on Elder Abuse Meeting; Announces Public Awareness Campaign for Reporting Elder Abuse

January 05, 2018

MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel held the second meeting of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse and is announcing a new public awareness campaign that will allow people to report abuse against seniors at Medicaid-funded or other senior care facilities.

“One in nine seniors have reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the last twelve months, but we also know that elder abuse is drastically underreported[1],” said Attorney General Schimel. “With respect to financial crimes perpetuated against the elderly alone, it is estimated that just one in 44 cases is ever reported.[2] As this task force continues to work on improving outcomes for the state’s growing population of elderly, we need more people to come forward and report when they see or experience elder abuse.”

The new public awareness campaign the Wisconsin Department of Justice is launching will inform the public about what elder abuse is, and allow people to report suspected elder abuse in a Medicaid-funded or other senior facility to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-488-3780. The public service announcements will air over the radio from January 15 to March 11, 2018, on the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s 200 member stations.

At the task force meeting on Friday, January 5, Attorney General Schimel and members discussed dementia and how it can impact the criminal justice system’s response; AARP’s fraud prevention program; financial exploitation; and other topics on elder abuse.

The Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse, which was announced in August 2017, is charged with compiling the resources and knowledge of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to study the impact of elder abuse in Wisconsin and assess ways to improve outcomes for this growing population of citizens. In addition to developing strategies to address barriers in investigation and prosecutions of elder abuse, the task force will strengthen consumer protection for seniors and create recommendations for improved cross-system communications.

To report suspected financial, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, please contact your county elder adult-at-risk agency or call 1-800-488-3780. If you witness an act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that requires immediate attention, please call 911.