Today, in front of attendees at the annual National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) Conference, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the creation of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse.

“Over the next two decades, Wisconsin’s 65 and older population will increase by 72 percent and one in nine seniors have reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the past twelve months,” Schimel said. “Sadly, this group is seen by criminals as vulnerable and easily exploitable. With this rapidly growing population, we must act with urgency to protect our loved ones from becoming the target of financial, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.”

The Task Force on Elder Abuse 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.

The task force, made up of representatives from Wisconsin Department of Justice, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, the Wisconsin State Legislature, law enforcement, Wisconsin Court System, Board on Aging and Long Term Care, Wisconsin Bankers Association, crime victim services, adult protective services, senior living facilities, and senior citizen advocacy organizations, will meet quarterly, with issue-focused working groups that will meet on a monthly basis.

The inaugural meeting of Attorney General Schimel’s Task Force on Elder Abuse will take place in October 2017.

For more information about elder abuse, please visit the National Adult Protective Services Association, National Center of Elder Abuse, State of Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long Term Care or Wisconsin Aging and Disability Resource Centers.

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