Tri-county triad to address the many facets of elder abuse

By Cathy Kozlowicz


Elder abuse is not only neglect or verbal/physical abuse. It’s a trend toward seniors being taken advantage of simply because they’re vulnerable, according to Carol Dreger.

Dreger lives at Westshire Farms, a senior community in Delavan, and said the elderly tend to trust others.

“A lot of the scams are on the telephone because we are too trusting … we have gotten calls that are threatening,” she said.

Dreger, who is an informal spokesperson in her senior community, said she has seen friends receive phone calls and mail correspondences about countless scams. She’s also seen them being taken advantage of by family members who are not managing their funds effectively.

To combat some of these issues of elder abuse, a Walworth County Triad is forming and will become a part of a Tri-County Triad with Kenosha and Racine counties. The local triad will include input and support from senior citizens, law enforcement and agencies that serve older adults.

The first meeting of the new triad will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Walworth County Department of Health and Human Services, W4501 County Highway NN in Elkhorn.

There will be a survey of seniors to gather input about the Walworth County Triad’s goals, said Mel Davis, a social worker at Lakeland Health Care Center.

Some of those goals will be to reduce criminal victimization of older adults, improve their quality of life, find solutions to problems related to senior safety and crime and enhance the delivery of law enforcement services.

Dreger said that women who are recently widowed often are targeted. She said sometimes the husband handles the financial affairs and a common scam involves someone claiming to be with the IRS and saying that the victim is behind on taxes.

“They were going to have the police come over and take away a bank account and the car,” she explained about scam calls she and others have received. Another scam, Dreger said, claims they had not paid their bills and they will be arrested.

Read more about the triad in Feb. 14-15 Southern Lakes Newspapers’ publications throughout the area.

Anyone interested in serving on the triad, including area seniors, should contact Mel Davis at 262-741-3671, or search the Triad of Walworth County on Facebook.


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