A recent report filed by supervisor Pam Daye of Aging and Disability Research Center (ADRC) of Marinette County revealed data we found to be a troubling social problem in our county. Daye’s information was contained in an article she wrote for the EagleHerald, which appeared on the Boomers & Beyond Page on June 18.

According to Daye, 107 cases of elder abuse or neglect were investigated in Marinette County in 2019, 120 cases in 2018 and 102 cases in 2017. She noted that self-neglect was the most prominent problem in the county. Right behind that category was financial exploitation. ADRC, she wrote, is witnessing a substantial number of elders becoming victims of scams.

“These scammers are very good at pitching their story, but never deliver on their promises,” she wrote. “Scams related to Social Security, COVID-19 stimulus checks and the IRS are just a handful of the scams that we have seen right here in Marinette County.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was observed in communities across the United States and in other countries around the world on June 18 and it’s likely that most Americans weren’t even aware of the day set aside to spotlight what has become a global concern. Our readers were fortunate that Daye highlighted the abuse and neglect issue in our newspaper on that day.

ADRC of Marinette County actually touted awareness to the abuse on June 8 when it exhibited colorful pinwheels, which signified the 107 elder/neglect investigations completed in Marinette County. The pinwheels were displayed at the ADRC offices on Hall Avenue, topped with a banner promoting awareness. The agency also has partnered with local business to increase awareness.

“We recognize the presence of elder abuse in our community and we hope by educating and increasing awareness, our efforts can assist with reducing elder abuse and neglect,” said Daye.

Our newspaper has long published warnings about the growing number of abuse and scam problems in Marinette and Menominee counties. We use information provided by area law enforcement units and the network of area social agencies who are responsible for conveying the information and warning signs.

The scammers may be fake construction contractors pretending to be roofing and siding specialists at a cheaper rate, salesmen pitching insurance or motor vehicle bargains, or just about any commercial sham that appears to be the bargain of the day. Grandparents should be on the alert for the telephone call where someone impersonating one of their grandchildren and claims to be in some kind of trouble with the law and needs immediate cash to help him out. The list of scams is long and intimidating.

We are indeed fortunate to have agencies like ADRC who work with local law enforcement to investigate these types of crimes.