BEATRICE - On June 15, 2006 National World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was created. The Nebraska Department of Health And Human Services is educating the community about Elder Abuse as Wednesday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Susan Bergmeier talked about what elder abuse is.

“It can be anything that can be ascertained that a person is not getting their needs met,” Bergmeier said. “It can be anything from a scam over the phone to physical abuse and neglect.”

Elder abuse is a broad term, meaning it can happen in many different facets. One of the places it can happen is within an assisted living facility. Bergmeier gave tips on what relatives can look out for I they feel suspicious about elder abuse.

“They [those in facility] seem to be losing weight, there’s physical signs, like having bruises, or is there a care giver you have concerns with,” Bergmeier said. “Also, with all the scams over the phone, are they monitoring the calls, watch the bank accounts, and make sure money isn’t being withdrawn from a bank.”

Bergmeier said elder abuse is happening in Nebraska, especially in the form of financial scams. NCN met with Bergmeier in Beatrice, where she says she recently saw a severe case of abuse.

“It’s concerning,” Bergmeier said. “A good example is right here in Beatrice….an elderly woman who sold her house, took all of her money out of savings, and took all of her money out, and sent it to an untraceable address. I have had several intake’s of financial exploitation.”

If you’re suspicious of a case of elder abuse, Bergmeier recommends calling the abuse/neglect hotline at 1-800-652-1999.