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Elder Abuse

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What is Elder Abuse?

Elder adult at risk as defined by Wisconsin Statute 46.90 (i)(br) means any person 60 years of older who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect or financial exploitation.

Most elder abuse occurs in isolation, unnoticed, leaving the victim unprotected.  Thus, by reporting abuse, victim’s and abuser’s needs can be identified and services implemented to reduce those stresses that lead to elder abuse.  The principal purpose of investigation is prevention, to offer to the elderly person those services, which might relieve their abuse and deter recurrence.  The focus of intervention is to maintain the client in the least restrictive environment.  Possible interventions include:

  • Linkages with appropriate resources, Supportive Home Health Services, Adult Day Care
  • Guardianship of the person
  • Financial or legal assistance
  • Referral to counseling
  • Assistance with development of informal support systems
  • Case management where indicated
  • Counseling for the abuse
  • Dietary assistance
  • Housing assistance
  • Placement in other residential setting

Callers should be prepared to report what happened, when and where it happened, and who the suspected abuser might be.  Under the law, persons are protected since they are reporting in good faith.  Both the reporting person and the victim’s names are kept confidential.  Callers can remain anonymous.

For Adults-at-Risk Definitions visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/aps/definitions

To Report Elder Abuse:
Call Vernon County Human Services at 608-637-5210, Monday thru Friday, 8:30 to 4:30. 
After hours calls can be made to the Vernon County Sheriff's Department at 608-637-2123.

For Information:
1. Visit Wisconsin Department of Health Services APS: Helplines for Elder Adults-at-Risk  http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/aps/ear-agencies.htm
2. Visit Guardianship Support Center http://www.gwaar.org/wi-guardianship-support-center.html
3. Call Vernon County Department of Human Services at 608-637-5210.
     318 Fairlane Drive, Suite 100
     Viroqua, WI  54665