Financial Elder Abuse Issue Is More Serious Than It Might Seem At First Sight With Family Members Being Most Common Perpetrators

November 5, 2018 13:11

Elder abuse is a huge issue in our country, and unfortunately, it is predicted to grow even bigger due to the increase in the number of older adults. With that being said, one of the most prevalent types of elder abuse is financial exploitation. Recent studies show that the main reason for people to financially abuse older people is simply that it is easy to exploit them. Another horrible fact is that one in five people knows at least one person who is or was exploited for financial gain. So what can we do about this issue? First, we need to know how to recognize financial elder abuse.

mrmohock /

READ ALSO: Putting Your Parents In A Nursing Home Is Not A Remedy! Statistics Show Horrific Numbers Of Elder Abuse In Healthcare Facilities

Financial elder abuse: warning signs

Most of the cases of financial elder abuse are committed by family members. There are many stories that help us understand the nature of the problem. For example, a woman suffering from dementia has been financially exploited by her own son, how would withdraw huge sums from her bank account for his needs.

In another case of financial elder abuse, a man put his mother, who also was suffering from dementia, in a healthcare facility. In order to be able to do that, he sold her house for a great price. Since there was some money left from the sale, the man decided to take it. Such case is also considered financial elder abuse, because the money didn’t belong to the son and he had no right to take it.

Ruslan Guzov /

Signs of financial exploitation:

  • unexplained bank or ATM withdrawals;
  • unpaid bills and eviction notices;
  • missing property;
  • suspicious signatures on legal documents;
  • unexpected changes in legal documents;
  • the older person doesn’t understand their financial situation;
  • the older person’s care is way below the standard despite having enough money.

Nadino /

READ ALSO: Older People Rarely Can Protect Themselves. It Is Important To Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse To Be Able To Help Them

How to stop financial elder abuse?

Unsurprisingly, most of the cases of any type of elder abuse remain unreported. And it is the biggest issue. In order to stop elder abuse, you need to recognize the signs of domestic violence, neglect, or exploitation and report it. Financial elder abuse is no exception to this. Therefore, if you suspect financial abuse, it is important to report the case to your local Adult Protective Services (APS). You can call at (800) 222-8000 or file an online report. In addition to that, it is recommended to file a police report.

Asier Romero /

Also, there are some other options, including consulting The National Center on Elder Abuse and learning your state’s laws. Getting a temporary restraining order from a court is preferable at the very beginning of the case. We get it, it may be difficult to report an abuser, especially if it is the family member. However, we are adamant that elder abuse should not be tolerated. Older people do not deserve mistreatment, abuse, and exploitation. And in many cases, they cannot even defend themselves. Then who is there to help them?

READ ALSO: No One Should Tolerate Elder Abuse! Learn How To Report It And Help Yourself Or Your Loved One Now