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Louisiana Has Fragmented Response to Elderly Financial Abuse

Louisiana's legislative auditor says the state doesn't coordinate its work to combat and respond to financial abuse of the elderly.

The auditor's office released a report Monday showing a half-dozen state agencies with oversight and investigative authority involving allegations that someone has stolen from or financially exploited an elderly person.

Those agencies are in the attorney general's office, the health department, the governor's elderly affairs office, the veterans affairs department and the financial institutions office. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office says the agencies don't always work together on cases that could overlap programs.

He suggests better coordination, and he says lawmakers should consider enacting new laws to help prevent and identify financial abuse cases. The audit says claims of elderly financial exploitation have grown in Louisiana and nationally.