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Elderly financial abuse costs seniors $2.9 billion annually

By J.R. SCHRADER

The Southwest Times

 

An estimated one million older Americans lose $2.9 billion each year through the financial abuse of the elder generation.

The perpetrators are not thugs with guns or threats or strangers, but family, neighbors, friends, caregivers and financial officers.

To combat this menace and help the elderly preserve finances, possessions and homes, the New River Valley Elder Justice Coalition will sponsor a Community Dialogue on Financial Abuse among Older Adults.

The session will be held Tuesday, May 7, at Highland Ridge Rehab Center, Dublin, from   9:30 a.m. to noon.

Brunch will be served. To register, call 674-4193 by May 1. More information about this event is available by calling Janet Brennend, Agency on Aging at 980-7720.

A panel representing law enforcement, long-term medical care, banking and finance and adult protective services will provide information during a question and answer session.

An open discussion on elder financial abuse and resource sharing will also be part of the session.

A grant from the Community Foundation of the New River Valley is funding the session.

Fraud by strangers accounts for 51 percent of elder abuse fraud, with business sector another 12 percent. Medicare and Medicaid fraud adds for percent.

Women are twice as likely as men to become victims of such abuse, most of them 80 to 89 yeas of age, living alone and requiring some level of help.

The typical victim is a frail white female, 70-89 years of age with cognitive impairment. She trusts others, is lonely or isolated. Family members are scattered and seldom visit or uninvolved.

Nearly 50 percent of the perpetrators are men, 30 to 59 years of age.

The abuse often leads to credit problems, health issues, depression and loss of independence, as well as finances, possessions and homes.

Many people know of such incidents, but seldom become involved until it is too late.

There are similar incidents that have occurred locally, but not reported nor any measures taken to overturn them. Recovering the losses are difficult.

One case in Georgia involved a couple, she the caregiver and her husband, were indicted for defrauding an elderly veteran with dementia out of about $182,000. Police say the couple took about $500,000 from the 80-year-old man.

 

Another case, in California, involved a CEO and CFO of an investment firm who were charged in 66 felon cases of bilking older investors out of $2.3 million over eight years.

 

These may be the exception, but hundreds of thousands of lesser amounts add up to $2.9 billion a year.

 

Learn more May 7.

 

 

Comments

comments

3 Responses to Elderly financial abuse costs seniors $2.9 billion annually

  1. Elaine Renoire

    April 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Actually, we don’t know how much elder abuse costs because those who are doing these studies/reports, such as MetLife, are not including the cost of judicially sanctioned financial exploitation through unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships.

    It’s happening all across the country. Those with ample assets are routinely “protected” into indigence and then thrown on the taxpayer’s backs who unwittingly pick up the Medicaid tab.

    In today’s economy, can we afford an unnecessary and free-flowing drain of Medicaid?

    I think not.

    Join the national movement for reform of unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships. Join NASGA: http://www.StopGuardianAbuse.org.

    Yours,
    Elaine Renoire
    NASGA

  2. Ima Reformer

    April 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Courts appoint “fiducaries” (strangers we’re supposed to trust) to PROTECT vulnerable elders and other disabled individuals.
    Many of these so-called “protectors” are filling their pockets from their wards’ estates, too frequently with the blessings of the court; i.e., the judge is looking the other way instead of monitoring and overseeing what his appointees are doing.

  3. Robert Alan Yeatts Jr.

    April 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    It’s a good thing the foundation is studying this because this is such a terrible thing to happen. I feel so bad for elderly people who get targeted in scams like this.

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