Elderly Abuse an Underreported Problem in Northwest Florida

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The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) investigates around 64,000 reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation in the elderly each year, and they hope they can educate the public to prevent that number from getting any higher.

The Elder Abuse Awareness expo at the Glenwood Community Center offers services and information about elderly issues.

The expo is hoping to raise as much awareness as it can before tomorrow's elder abuse awareness day.

More than 4,000 of the 64,000 reports are from northwest Florida.

JoShonda Guerrier of the Flordia DCF explains, "we want to educate people to be vigilant. To pay attention to our elders, to know that if you start to see behaviors that you're not accustomed to seeing in them, if they're isolating, if you see bruises, you definitely want to take the time to contact the Florida Abuse Hotline."

The Florida DCF investigated more than 1,000 cases in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington Counties in 2012.

If you suspect elder abuse, you're asked to call 1-800-96-ABUSE.