On Feb. 18, the Schuylkill Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance held a training session at St. Clare of Assisi in Saint Clair. The purpose of the training session, that was attended by about a dozen local clergy members, was to help make the local clergy aware of resources for investigating reports of elder abuse.
In an article on the RepublicanHerald.com, Eileen Barlow, an alliance member and ombudsman for MidPenn Legal Services, said elder abuse can include financial exploitation and neglect, in addition to physical and emotional abuse.
“If suddenly Mary Smith isn’t in church, and you know Mary Smith was always at church a couple of times a week…that individual may not leave their home at all,” said Barlow.
In the article, one clergy member recounted the story of an elderly parishioner whose weekly donation check began to bounce. It was discovered that the woman’s son who was living with her was taking money from her checking account.
The article noted that financial exploitation is becoming more common, since the crime can be easy to commit and difficult to catch.
The alliance held similar sessions for law enforcement officials, medical professionals, and financial service workers. They hope to reach out to nursing homes and funeral directors in the future.