Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge hosted the second Elder Abuse Conference in Jonesboro at the Arkansas State University First National Bank Arena. Nearly 100 attendees learned about issues faced by loved ones and providers who assist and serve seniors and adults with developmentally disabilities.

“I am dedicated to protecting our seniors from those who take advantage of them through financial and physical abuse,” Rutledge said. The annual Elder Abuse Conference empowers family, friends, employers and law enforcement to recognize the signs of abuse and teaches them how to protect victims when abuse is occurring.

Lance Robertson, the former US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Aging and current director of Guidehouse was the keynote speaker.

“It is so pleasing to see Attorney General Rutledges commitment to exposing the troubling societal issue elder abuse,” Robertson said.

“Candidly, it is often swept under the carpet and is more pervasive than we want to acknowledge. However, Arkansas is in good hands and could become the national model for how to effectively combat abuse, neglect and exploitation,” he added

The conference covered a broad range of topics including elder financial abuse, expansion of the Attorney Generals Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prescription drug abuse by caregivers, lessons learned and resources for elder abuse and support and tools for elder abuse prevention.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 Americans 60 years and older have experienced some kind of abuse. It is estimated that as many as five million elderly Americans are abused each year.

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