AG Schimel Launches Public Awareness Campaign for Reporting Elder Abuse

Jan 16 2018

MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the start of a radio ad campaign that will raise awareness about elder abuse and encourage citizens to report abuse against seniors at Medicaid-funded or other senior care facilities.

 

“One in nine seniors have reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the last twelve months, but we also know that elder abuse is drastically underreported[1],” said Attorney General Schimel. “As our Task Force on Elder Abuse continues to work on improving outcomes for the state’s growing population of elderly, we need more people to come forward and report when they see or experience elder abuse. This new campaign is the first step in raising public awareness about elder abuse and encouraging citizens to report instances of abuse to authorities.”

 

The new public awareness campaign encourages citizens to report suspected elder abuse in a Medicaid-funded or other senior facility to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-488-3780. The public service announcements began airing yesterday over the radio on the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s 200 member stations and will conclude on March 11, 2018. Currently, the ad campaign has a $50,000 budget, made possible through a federal grant.

 

Attorney General Schimel’s administration has prioritized elder abuse and launched the Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse in August 2017. The task force is charged with compiling the resources and knowledge of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to study the impact of elder abuse in Wisconsin and assess ways to improve outcomes for this growing population of citizens. In addition to developing strategies to address barriers in investigation and prosecutions of elder abuse, the task force will strengthen consumer protection for seniors and create recommendations for improved cross-system communications.

 

To report suspected financial, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, please contact your county elder adult-at-risk agency or call 1-800-488-3780. If you witness an act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that requires immediate attention, please call 911.

 

The script of the elder abuse campaign ad is below.

 

VOICE OVER:

Respect your elders. At the least, it means to treat them with kindness and consideration.

 

But what if you noticed a senior that wasn’t being respected? What if you witnessed physical, emotional, or even sexual abuse? One in nine seniors has reported being abused, neglected, or exploited in the past year, and elder abuse is vastly underreported. Studies show that even modest abuse increases the chance of premature death by 300%. That’s why it’s more important to honor our seniors and speak up when you know something isn’t right.

 

Respect your elders. Report abuse.

 

To report suspected elder abuse in a Medicaid-funded or other senior facility, or if you witness an act of abuse requiring immediate attention, call the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-488-3780.

 

AG SCHIMEL:

I’m Attorney General Brad Schimel.

 

Please help me in the effort to respect our elders and report abuse. Call my Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-488-3780.

 

Thank you.

 

VOICE OVER:

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

 

Listen to the radio ad.