About Us

Elder Abuse is a serious problem.  Nationwide reports of abuse have increased 150% over the last decade, yet it continues to be grossly underreported.  Older adults may become vulnerable due to isolation, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation and fraud.

Elder victims are often reluctant to report abuse.  They feel ashamed, embarrassed or afraid.  Perpetrators of elder abuse are generally family members, friends, neighbors or caregivers, upon whom the elder depends for care or services.

The most prevalent type of reported abuse is financial exploitation.  According to a 2011 MetLife study of Elder Financial Abuse, the total annual loss to victims was estimated to be 2.8 billion dollars, a 12% increase from the 2.6 billion dollar estimate from 2008.

There is a compelling need to make all seniors aware of how to protect themselves from violence, abuse and exploitation.  In Erie County, the Council on Elder Abuse (CEA) has provided education to seniors and senior services agencies since 2000.  Safety Awareness for Elders (SAFE) presentations have been given to thousands of seniors living in senior housing or attending community senior centers.  During the hour program seniors learn to recognize the signs of elder abuse, income and asset protection and who to call for help.

The CEA includes law enforcement, the Erie County District Attorney’s office, Erie County agencies and many senior service providers.  In addition to networking and educational opportunities, members work to identify gaps in service and insure the best use of resources.  Continued efforts to report and bring perpetrators of crimes to justice is a goal of the CEA.

The CEA remains committed to eliminating elder abuse through outreach and education and treat elder abuse for what it is – a crime against a population deserving of our protection and respect.