A meeting later this week is designed to give legislators more of an awareness of a growing elder abuse problem in Vilas county and the Northwoods.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is being observed by hosting a luncheon with Northwoods legislators Friday at the Vilas County Courthouse in Eagle River.
In 2018, Vilas County had 170 cases of reported elder abuse. Vilas County had the third highest elderly population per capita in Wisconsin at 39 percent in 2017.
Social Worker Donna Rosner, says more abuse is being reported...
"..to create an awareness of what we are facing in Vilas county. Vilas is a small, rural county with a very high elderly population. We don't have the resources that a lot of counties maybe in metropolitan southern Wisconsin has. We have a lack of facilities, we have a lack of caregivers..."
Rosner says experts think for every reported case, 24 go unreported..
"...I feel in Vilas county we do get a good amount of reports. Obviously there are a lot of cases that don't get reported. We have a close network with various providers, banks, churches, financial institutions, neighbors. Because Vilas county is small, people do call when their concerned about their elderly neighbor or someone who is confused coming into the bank that maybe is not taking care of themselves..."
Rosner says the most commonly-reported type of abuse is self-neglect..
"...Self-neglect is when a person is declining either mentally or physically and putting themselves at imminent risk because they can no longer safely meet their basic needs..."
Rosner says staff from state members of Congress, state legislators and others have been invited. More information is available at Vilas County Social Services or your local county social services department