Cases of elderly abuse are on the rise as the population ages and a growing number of baby boomers are retiring. Elderly abuse includes everything from caregiver neglect, financial fraud and exploitation, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse. And according to studies done by the Department of Justice, it affects at least 10% of adults age 65 and older in a given year, but it is estimated that many cases go unreported.
With financial exploitation acting as one of the leading forms of elderly abuse today, it is crucial that elders, caretakers, and even businesses familiarize themselves with some of the warning signs associated with financial exploitation to help protect some of the most vulnerable members in our community. The Department of Justice offers the following signs:
- Sudden changes in bank accounts or banking practices
- Inclusion of additional names on an elder’s bank signature card
- Unauthorized withdrawals of the elder’s funds using the elder’s ATM card
- Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents
- Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions
- Substandard care being provided, or bills left unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources
- Discovery of an elder’s signature being forged for financial transactions
- Sudden appearances of previously uninvolved relatives claiming rights to an elder’s property or possessions
- The unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family
- The provision of services that are not necessary
- An elder’s report of financial exploitation
If you need to report a case of elderly abuse or would like to find more information and resources, visit The Department of Justice.
To hear the rest of Gerald’s story and how Robin was able to put a stop to a scam in action, check out our blog and podcast on it here.