June 15th Event to Educate, Raise Awareness of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation
TRENTON — In commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on Thursday, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) are hosting a statewide symposium of government and private organizations dedicated to protecting seniors from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
The event, which is free and open to all members of the public, will feature an expert panel to present an overview of elder abuse and provide resources and information on how to identify, prevent, and report crimes against the elderly.
OAG and OIFP are hosting the event with the New Jersey Elder Protection Task Force.
In 2018, OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit launched the Elder Protection Task Force to investigate allegations of financial exploitation, abuse, or neglect of elderly and incapacitated adults receiving Medicaid benefits in New Jersey or who reside in NJ facilities that receive Medicaid benefits.
“Elder abuse robs seniors of their dignity, their security, and can even cost them their lives. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on this shameful crime and help end it,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “The Department of Law and Public Safety is working year-round to protect the safety and well-being of older New Jerseyans, and hold accountable those who prey on the vulnerabilities of our seniors. This Symposium is a chance for the public – including elderly residents and those who care for them – to learn about the resources available to protect seniors and to meet with people dedicated to keeping them safe from harm.”
“The biggest impediment to combatting elder abuse is that abusers often target victims who are isolated or have limited ability to communicate what is happening to them. That’s why we need as many eyes and ears as possible listening and watching for signs that someone is being abused,” said Al Garcia, Interim Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. “A primary goal of our annual WEAAD Symposium is to educate the public on what to look for and where to report abuses or concerning conduct they see. Our Symposium also empowers seniors to be their own advocates and lets them know that we are here for them and ready to employ our resources to help them and protect them.”
The WEAAD Symposium will include speakers representing the Division of Consumer Affairs and its Bureau of Securities, the New Jersey Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Topics include the latest financial schemes targeting seniors, including cryptocurrency scams, lottery fraud, romance, and tech-support scams, and how artificial intelligence systems are already making it easier for scammers to con seniors out of their money. The event will include free breakfast and lunch for attendees, musical entertainment, chair yoga, and vendor tables with giveaways.
The Symposium will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Brower Student Center at The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08628. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. Space is limited and registration is required. To register online, please visit: https://www.njoag.gov/eaa-registration. To register by phone or for more information, please call (609) 292-1272. If you suspect that an older person is being abused anywhere in New Jersey, you can report it by also calling 609-292-1272.