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Buncombe County News 

This news item expired on 12/31/2013, so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
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Elder Financial Abuse


 

Financial exploitation is a fast-growing form of abuse for seniors and adults with disabilities. Situations of financial exploitation commonly involve someone the person trusts:

  • Caretakers
  • Family members
  • Neighbors
  • Friends and acquaintances
  • Attorneys
  • Bank employees
  • Pastor
  • Doctors or nurses

Adult Protective Service (APS) programs report that the number and complexity of reports involving financial abuse of vulnerable and older adults has grown significantly over the past decade. Recent research has found that elder financial exploitation is widespread, expensive, even deadly.

  • One in nine seniors reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the past twelve months; the rate of financial exploitation is extremely high, with 1 in 20 older adults indicating some form of perceived financial mistreatment occurring in the recent past
  • Elder abuse is vastly under-reported; only one in 44 cases of financial abuse is ever reported. Abused seniors are three times more likely to die and elder abuse victims are four times more likely to go into a nursing home
  • 90% of abusers are family members or trusted others
  • Almost one in ten financial abuse victims will turn to Medicaid as a direct result of their own monies being stolen from them
  • Cognitive impairment and the need for help with activities of daily living make victims more vulnerable to financial abuse

Financial exploitation takes many forms. While the vast majority of reports to APS involve someone who is related to or in a trusting relationship with the victim, scams and fraud by strangers are also very common.

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Source: National Adult Protective Services website