FAYETTEVILLE, AR--Northwest Arkansas may seem like a growing, vibrant and young community, but the elderly population is growing, and officials need to know how to recognize signs of abuse.
"If they are trained to recognize signs of elder abuse when they get in the home, then they can contact the appropriate authorities."
The Washington County Sheriff's Office held a training course on Friday, educating first responders about the warning signs of elder abuse.
"Since we have an aging population here uh we're seeing more offenses toward the elder population. It's a matter of protecting our elder population."
Sergeant Brad Cavender says every agency in the county needs to know the warning signs.
"It may be the physical condition of the elderly person, the condition of the home, how much food is in the home, how much food isn't in the home. They are required by law to report any concerns of elder abuse to law enforcement."
Looking ahead, Washington County plans to hold more training courses like this one.
"We can share information to make sure the elderly population in the area gets the services and help that they need."