1/3 of Elder Financial Abuse Close to Home

April 12, 2013 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Someone calls your 85-year-old dad and obtains credit card information, his social security number and bank account information.

Elder financial abuse is on the rise and cause for increasing concern.   2013 is the “Year of Elder Abuse Prevention.”   Studies performed by the federal Administration on Aging suggest that our understanding of the subject is insufficient.

Unfortunately, some of the perpetrators are close to home.  A statistic from MetLife suggests that 34% of elder abuse is performed by neighbors, family members and friends.  In particular, the power of attorney, can be misused to control assets, move funds and take property that belongs to the senior.

Caregivers can play an important role in monitoring the small signals that may indicate abuse.  Is the elder person writing a lot of checks?  Do they seem to have fewer amenities than before?  Are an unusual  number of letters coming in the mail asking for contributions and donations?  Does the senior receive phone calls asking for money?   Good caregivers, whether they are family members or private duty professionals, all have an obligation to watch for the telltale signs.

 

 

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