Maine CUs Continues Strong Work On Elder Abuse Prevention Efforts; New Brochure Available For Free

May 30, 2014

The Maine Credit Union League and Maine's credit unions continue to be part of a group of organizations and partners committed to preventing elder abuse in Maine.  The Maine Council on Elder Abuse Prevention, which the League is a part of, has released a new brochure designed to help the public identify and prevent elder abuse.

The new brochure is part of the League's collaborative effort and work with the Council to highlight some of the signs to look for and how individuals can play an important role in preventing elder abuse.  According to recent data, 33,000 Maine elders are abused each year, and 90% of the perpetrators are family members of the victim.

Quincy Hentzel, Director of Governmental Affairs for the Maine Credit Union League and an active member of the Maine Council on Elder Abuse Prevention, said, "Unfortunately, this is a growing issue in Maine and elder abuse comes in a variety of forms including financial exploitation; physical abuse; emotional abuse; neglect; sexual abuse; and abandonment.  Maine credit unions have been proactive in participating in training and making other resources available to staff and members to learn the warning signs of not only financial exploitation but of other kinds of elder abuse.  Often times, if an elder is being abused financially, they are also victims in other ways, too, or at a greater risk of being abused in other ways."

Hentzel said that the Council has stepped up efforts in recent years with new tools and education to bring greater awareness to this growing issue.  This includes the new Senior$afe program, which was unveiled in February, to educate staff and other groups on ways to keep seniors safe from financial exploitation and other kinds of abuse.  "Maine has a growing senior population so this issue is becoming more common.  Collectively, we are pleased to be part of a solution, as credit unions are often on the frontline of dealing with members and being sensitive to these concerns."

To download the new brochure from the Maine Council on Elder Abuse Prevention, click here.