Financial exploitation of elder people in California and across the nation is a serious issue. Financial elder abuse is especially a concern for older individuals who suffer from cognitive impairments, which is why elder Americans and their family members should be familiar with these concerns.
Elderly financial abuse is considered widespread and can have serious consequences for victims and their families. The National Adult Protective Services Association reports that one in nine seniors reported that they have suffered some type of abuse or been neglected or exploited in the past year. In addition, one in twenty seniors reported they have suffered from some type of perceived financial mistreatment.
Those perpetrating the abuse are oftentimes in a position of trust. Elder financial abuse can include solicitations from fake charities, telemarketing scams, identity theft and a variety of other forms as well. As a result, it is important for family members to be familiar with the warning signs of financial elder abuse and be aware of the protections available. Warning signs can include unexpected bank-related changes; unauthorized or unexplained financial account withdrawals; unanticipated transfers; the disappearance of funds or possessions; sudden changes to important financial documents; or allowing a new party to make important decisions on the elderly individual's behalf.
According to The National Center on Elderly Abuse, elder financial abuse is defined as the illegal or improper use of the elder individual's funds, property or assets. Elder financial abuse can leave elderly individuals in a precarious situation, which is why family members should be familiar with the warning signs and resources to help.