By: Susan M. Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Senior Edge Legal, Boise, Idaho
I am amazed – I find at least 25% of my clients are supporting their adult children and grandchildren. Financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse.
A recent study of 4,000 adults aged 60 and older living in New York State revealed disappointing information. One in twenty older adults may be financially exploited. Approximately 80% had money or property stolen or misused over the past year. Some seniors were forced or tricked into giving up their property. Others were forced or misled into co-signing on promissory notes, or making changes to their legal documents.
Who are the people that take advantage of these older adults?
- 60% of the time the abuse is by their adult children
- 17% of the time by friends and neighbors
- 15% of the time by paid home aides
The most vulnerable are those older people needing help to maintain their independence and with daily tasks such as shopping that gives others access to their bank accounts.
A frightening aspect of this exploitation is that seniors who were financially able to support their old age are now left with insufficient funds to pay for their care as they age.
 Health Day, News for Healthier Living, reference to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, August 6, 2014
Reference: Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services US. Government, What is Elder Abuse?