May Nast arrives for dinner at RiverWalk, an independent senior housing facility, in New York, Thursday, April 1, 2021. Credit: Seth Wenig / AP

PORTLAND, Maine –– More than 40,000 Mainers, age 60 and older, likely experienced some form of abuse in 2020, the state said on Friday.

That’s why the governor’s office is taking steps to protect those most vulnerable.

The Mills’ administration revealed a first of its kind report that focuses on the issue called the “Elder Justice Roadmap.”

It’s a product of the Governor’s Elder Justice Coordinating Partnership, which includes 21 members from the public and private sectors.

Its top priorities are to prevent elder abuse, encourage victims to come forward and to improve overall response by either expanding current services or creating new ones.

Experts say that abuse can come in many forms, including physical, emotional and financial, and it can often be committed by loved ones.

“We hear about the scam artists all the time, there’s this Publishers Clearing House one going around right now, but our focus is on the abuse that’s committed by trusted people,” Public Sector Chair of the Partnership Judy Shaw said.

She added that it can be a challenging issue, and that’s why it’s important to increase awareness about what elder abuse is, what the red flags are and how we can work together to stop it.