June 2017 – World Elder Abuse Awareness Month

June 15th, 2017 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day attempts to shine a light on the problem of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders.

The month aims to focus global attention on the abuse our elders can be subjected to. It also seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing population, and brings together senior citizens, and their caregivers, national and local government, academics, and the private sector to exchange ideas about how best to reduce incidents of violence towards elders, increase reporting of such abuse, and to develop elder friendly policies.

For this month we are highlighting one type of Elder Abuse and that is financial. Please take the time to read this information and become familiar with it whether it is for a family member, friend or yourself. For more information or assistance on how to report financial elder abuse, you can contact our office for assistance.

Elders are targets of being victims of financial fraud and identity theft. They are attractive targets to the perpetrators because elders are likely to have disabilities that make them dependent on others for help, severely impaired individuals are also less likely to take action against their abusers because of a result of embarrassment or health issues, technology advances have made managing finances more difficult and some are uneducated about their financial matters.

Financial abuse spans a broad spectrum including:

  • Taking money or property
  • Forging an eider’s signature
  • Getting an elder to sign a deed, will or power of attorney through deception or undue influence
  • Using property or possessions without permission
  • Telemarketing scams
  • Promising lifelong care in exchange for money
  • Scams or fraudulent, deceptive acts

Unfortunately a lot of times family members are the perpetrators especially if they have substance abuse, gambling or financial problems. They may also have a negative relationship or negative feelings toward them, or may stand to feel “justified’ in taking what they believe is “almost” or “rightfully” theirs. Predatory individuals also seek out vulnerable seniors with the intent of exploiting them, take advantage of elders that are isolated and live alone, target recently widowed individuals or will seek employment to gain access to their funds. Business professionals also take advantage of elders by overcharging for services, use deceptive or unfair business practices and use their positions to gain trust from the vulnerable adult.

If you are an older adult or do you know one who …

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