One of the sad aspects of life today is that each year about 2 million older Americans are victims of crime. ... The appalling number of offenses against them must be addressed, and with unique approaches and resources.
Senior citizens are targets for robbery, car theft and burglary. Older people are more likely than younger victims to face attackers who are strangers along with the chance of more serious injury. They are more often attacked at or near their homes.
It is not always strangers who hurt older people. Sometimes, family members, friends, or caretakers may physically, mentally or financially abuse seniors through neglect, violence or by stealing money or property.
The development in Louisiana of a special corps of elder services officers to guard people at this vulnerable time in their lives is gratifying. Presently, there are 189 specially trained elder service officers in 54 of the state's parishes. They are qualified through special learning programs to better protect older people and, of great importance, to better communicate with them.
As our population ages, such expertise is critical.
The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, La.
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