University of Kentucky Hosting Conference on Elder Abuse

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

A center at the University of Kentucky is taking a multi-disciplinary approach to preventing elder financial abuse.

The Justice Center for Elderly and Vulnerable Adults, which is hosting its inaugural conference today in Lexington.

“Older adults have the lion’s share of the wealth in the country. They are targets for somebody else who wants it. Secondly, elders are wired even by theory to be me more trusting of others. So that may open us up to vulnerability,” says center director Pamela Teaster. “It’s different when you lose money at age 30 or 40 as opposed to losing money at age 80 or 70 because what do you have to recoup that? You no longer have the working years you had and if you had to rely on the stock market, good luck.”

Teaster says senior citizens are also vulnerable to financial abuse because their memory and decision-making abilities may be challenged as they age. Actor Mickey Rooney is the keynote speaker for the Justice Center’s conference. He has filed a lawsuit against his stepson for allegedly defrauding him. Rooney has testified about elder abuse before Congress.