CINCINNATI -- At 66 years old, Huey Delp didn't realize his "friends" weren't his friends.
Delp's heavy drinking led to early dementia, which made him susceptible to abuse, according to his brother, James Delp.
"The problem was, Huey's peer group were homeless people," James Delp said.
Anybody older than 60 who has been impacted by their aging or has mental or medical disabilities is at risk, according to Moira Weir, the director of Hamilton County Job and Family Services. Hamilton County Adult Protective Services handles about 500 elder abuse cases each year. They helped Huey Delp when his family noticed others were taking advantage of him.
"Huey was getting his Social Security money and his friends were just bleeding it dry," James Delp said.
Huey Delp hung out with his friends on the streets in Price Hill, even though he had a nearby apartment. They hung out there, too. His situation got so bad that his landlord was threatening to evict him.
"Another of his homeless friends went down to Hamilton County Probate Court and tried to file a petition to become Huey's legal guardian," James Delp said.
It didn't work. But recently, some of Huey Delp's friends abandoned him 30 miles from home and took his truck.
"Just taking Huey's money was not enough," James Delp said. "We were starting to worry about Huey's safety."
The best thing a person can do if they're concerned about possible elder abuse is to make the phone call and let a social worker go out, according to Weir. The number is 513-421-5433.
June is elder abuse awareness month. Job and Family Services workers plan to wear purple Friday to help make others aware.
The family is grateful to Adult Protective Services for getting Huey Delp into detox and a nursing home.
"He's a different person," James Delp said. "I have my brother back. I love him. I love him a lot."