Elderly Abuse On The Rise
Last year, the Department of Children and Families received 49,000 reports of physical abuse and neglect.
Carol Arroyo is a senior who agrees.
"I think weâ€™re easy targets," said Arroyo.
With a weak economy, Arroyo worries about her safety.
"We get to be more vulnerable," said Arroyo. "We felt that way. We look at people and think is that a safe person to be around or not."
Rising gas prices and an increase in foreclosures are the main reasons the Department of Children and Families gave for a 15 percent increase in elderly abuse cases.
The Department of Children and Families and police officers are calling for more training for investigators, and asking people to keep an eye on their elderly neighbors.
"Know your neighbor," said David McCranie with the Tallahassee Police Department. "At least introduce yourself to them. Know who the family members are so if thereâ€™s an emergency or if you havenâ€™t seen that elderly neighbor in a day or two you can contact the family member and at least have them come over and check on them."
According to the AARP, one reason for the increasing number of attacks on the elderly is because the number of elderly over the age of 85 has increased by almost half.
"Weâ€™re Americaâ€™s grayest state, and weâ€™re getting grayer at a rapid pace," said Dave Bruns, AARP spokesman.
Bruns said that the best advice officials are giving to seniors is to watch your back, and make sure someone else is watching as well.
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