On September 8th and 9th 2016, more than 140 New Jersey law enforcement officers attended a conference held by the Middlesex County Prosecutors office aimed at training the officers in elder abuse prevention. The two-day conference headlined with over twenty guest speakers was held at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayerville. NJToday reported that officers from every one of the 28 police agencies within Middlesex county, along with officers from the Piscataway Police Department attended the conference.
The conference aimed to provide officers the skills necessary to easily and quickly recognize when a senior has been abused either physically or financially. The keynote speaker of the event was the head of the San Diego District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Protection Unit, Paul Greenwood. Greenwood highlighted that there is a twofold approach to the goals associated with elder law abuse prevention. First, the agency must give support and identify resources available to the elderly. Second, when there is evidence of a crime, the agency needs to aggressively investigate and prosecute the people who committed the acts.
The National Council on Aging reports that 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or above have experienced some form of elder abuse. The council further reports that nearly 90% of elder abuse and neglect incidents are perpetrated by a family member. Financially, it is believed that elder financial abuse costs older Americans over 2.9 billion dollars a year.
The conference is believed to be the first step of its kind for educating Officers in New Jersey about elder law abuse. The hope is that by training the officers to spot signs of elder abuse, they will be much more efficient in preventing future cases.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones, and Sweeney understand that the aging population has specific and diverse needs. The firm helps seniors and their families by handling all aspects of elder law, including end-of-life planning, asset preservation, Medicaid planning, and trusts and estates issues. These issues can range from simple to complex, and can often be emotional. A guardianship is one tool the firm uses to help protect the elderly or disabled. The attorneys at the firm can be trusted by their clients to handle each legal matter with diligence and compassion. For more information, call the firm at (973) 256-0456.