Financial abuse is a hidden outrage.
People who have reached an advanced age certainly deserve some respect. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals all too often target our nation’s seniors for financial abuse. Why? Elderly people are often seen as “easy marks.”
What’s more, most cases of elder financial abuse go unreported. Some seniors don’t report the financial abuse because they are ashamed. Others may be suffering from diminished mental faculties; they don’t realize that somebody has taken advantage of them. Or they are afraid their family will put them in a nursing home if they learn they have been victimized.
And then there are those who are exploited by their own family members. Research tells us that individuals who have close access to seniors – usually family members and caregivers – are often the abusers. This happens with startling frequency, perhaps a third of the reported cases or more. Reliable statistics are difficult to find. Some seniors don’t go to authorities about the abuse because they don’t want their family members to get into trouble with the law.
There are also career criminals who target the elderly.
What can you do about the problem of financial abuse? Awareness is one of the keys to prevention. Aside from this, you may want to discuss your legal options with a licensed elder law attorney. Call our office to learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from financial abuse, or to request free literature on the topic.