Illinois leaders raise awareness on elder abuse

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Elder abuse is on the rise in Illinois.

In response, Governor Pritzker is declaring June 15 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Emergency Physician Scott French is no stranger to treating victims of this type of abuse.

"It can be anything from abrasions to scratches. We see things as big as fractures to the bone and head injury," says French.

Illinois logged over 17,000 cases in 2018 alone.

"I can see up to three [cases] in one shift," French adds.

Abuse can take many forms. Common types include physical, emotional, and neglect. Nearly half of the reported cases in the state are financial.

"As you get older you depend on people to take care of you," says Amberwood Administrator Michael Rhoe. "Sometimes people that end up in responsible positions in you life, like taking care of your finances, they abuse those situations."

Victims are likely to experience more than one type of abuse and these instances often go unreported.

"People that are growing older they don't want to talk about it," says Rhoe.

So it is the community's job to give them a voice.

"If you see people that don't want to talk about their injuries, that is not normal," says Rhoe. "We need to talk about it and expose those things."

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, please call the Illinois' 24-hour hotline at 866-800-1409.