AG, DOJ to work together to fight elder abuse in West Virginia
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's
office will collaborate with the federal government’s Elder Justice
Initiative to fight elder abuse in West Virginia.
The U.S. Department of Justice initiative will incorporate
Morrisey’s newly formed elder abuse litigation and prevention unit into
its own list of elder abuse resources. That will enable EJI to refer any
calls received from West Virginians to the state Attorney General’s
“Our state cannot tolerate elder abuse, neglect and exploitation,”
Morrisey said. “Protecting senior citizens demands cooperation between
all levels of government. I’m thrilled to work with the Justice
Department as our unit can serve as a clearinghouse to root out abuse in
The April 24 announcement came as part of Money Smart Week, during
which the the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is emphasizing the
importance of identifying and reporting elder abuse, neglect and
The unit in the AG's office includes a team of civil prosecutors to
hold accountable anyone who exploits, abuses or neglects West
Virginia’s senior citizens.
Litigation brought by the unit will focus upon enforcing a wide
variety of consumer protection laws, for which seniors are often
targeted victims. Potential violations could occur at home, the
automotive repair garage, hospital, nursing home, memory care facility
or any number of other settings.
Assistant attorneys general, both assigned to consumer protection
and to represent other state agencies, will work with the office’s
clients and county prosecutors to refer matters as appropriate,
including instances of criminal conduct, guardianship and
conservatorship, as well as acts involving nursing homes and hospitals.
The prevention component involves collaborations with a wide
variety of state and community partners across West Virginia. Those
partnerships provide office representatives a chance to answer
questions, give presentations and distribute vital information to
educate seniors as to various risks and how to protect themselves.
Seniors in need of the unit’s expertise are asked to contact the
AG's senior services and elder abuse hotline at 304-558-1155 or
HelpForSeniors@wvago.gov. The hotline is open for senior citizens and
their loved ones. Those preferring traditional mail can reach the office
at P.O. Box 1789, Charleston, WV 25326.
The unit’s scam alert database is also key in raising awareness of
potential scams. Senior citizens and their loved ones can subscribe to
the email alerts at http://bit.ly/SeniorScamAlert.