WOOD COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - An increasing number of reports of elderly abuse are pouring in to Wood County.
Wednesday, the Wood County Adult Protective Services hosted an event to bring awareness to the situation. This increased awareness is the reason leaders believe more neighbors are reporting this abuse.
"The elderly population is growing at a very high rate and so those two factors, awareness and the fact that the population is growing so fast accounts for the increase in numbers this year I think", said Marc Briseno from the Wood County Adult Protective Services.
It's usually seniors who struggle with mental or physical problems who are the most vulnerable to this kind of abuse.
Dave Woessner, Wood County Probate Judge, said, "A situation where they need assistance and you want to make sure the assistance is the right type and someone isn't trying to take advantage of those individuals."
Woessner says he sees cases like these in court all of the time.
"I think as people hear about it perhaps they're a bit more inclined to reach out to someone and say, you know I don't know about if Uncle Joe or Aunt Jane, I'm not quite sure if something is right there", said Woessner.
Just like there is child protective services actions, there is the same for adults.
"They're actually asking the court saying something is going on here and the court can immediately issue emergency orders to intervene and take steps necessary to protect either the emotional, physical or financial health of an individual", said Woessner.
In order to report it though, first, they advise loved ones to be proactive.
"There is all sorts of signs but the key is to have contact with that person and make sure that they're okay", said Briseno.