An event at the Boardman Holiday Inn focused on protecting the aging population from abuse and exploitation.

The event was put on by Direction Home of Eastern Ohio and featured speakers from a variety of organizations including Summa Health, Youngstown State University, Meridian Healthcare and the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.

Breakout sessions covered a variety of topics including cognitive changes in people as they age, the impact hoarding can have on others, human trafficking of older adults, drug use in seniors and suicide prevention.

"There are so many individuals who never come forward and say that they've been financially, physically or sexually abused," Cassandra Valentini, Communications Director for Direction Home of Eastern Ohio, said. "We're really trying with this conference to hit all those different topics and educate our local community to make sure that we have folks out there who can address these concerns as they're brought to our attention."

Advocates also highlighted the warning signs and best practices to help out loved ones as they age.