"Why is elder financial abuse called the “Crime of the 21st Century?"
- Right now in this country every 6 seconds someone turns 65 years of age. This means there are 10,000 new Senior Citizens every day in the United States. Baby Boomers and their parents are retiring with significant assets. The greatest transfer of wealth in history: $10 trillion dollars estimated over the next 20-30 years.
Myth: Elder Financial abuse only happens to wealthy seniors.
- Not true! Elder financial abuse crosses al socio-economic boundaries.
- For the lower-income elder, a little is a lot to someone who doesn’t have much. In fact, it might be all they have and even a small loss can have devastating effects and result in the loss of independence.
What are the most common forms of elder financial abuse?
- Family members and hired caregivers
- Usually a person known to the elder
- Financial predators who gain the trust of an elder or con the elder out of their money or property
- Consumer Fraud that targets elders
Why don’t elders report their own abuse?
- Don't want to cause trouble for a family member or bring shame on the family
- Dependence on the caregiver
- Fear of retaliation
- Fear of loss of independence
- Lack capacity to know or report
What is the cost of elder financial abuse to American seniors?
- Met Life 2011 Study says $2.6 billion in annual losses to seniors
- Elder lose their independence may become reliant on public benefits and unnecessary institutionalization, cost unknown
- Loss of life: Abused elders are 3.1 times more likely to die as a direct result (cite Journal of American Medicine)
- Link to the above the to Met Life 2011 Elder Abuse Study is here: http://db.tt/7KcPMHoV
What are the greatest challenges in fighting this crime?
- Lack of reporting due to the above and victim stigma
- Resistance by victims to take action against the abuser
- Complexity of cases and lack of training by law enforcement
- Funding the fight — elder abuse prevention and intervention get roughly 1/7 of the funds
Tips to avoid elder financial abuse and exploitation
- Avoid isolation
- Plan ahead; carefully assign POA’s; consider a corporate Trustee and geriatric care manager
- Carefully screen and check references of anyone you Secure financial documents
- Photograph valuables
- Don’t get rushed into a deal — shop around
- Never pay fees or taxes in advance for winnings
- Don’t give out private information to anyone who calls you on the phone.
- Do not open the door to strangers or invite anyone you don’t know into your house
What is Elder Abuse?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Elder abuse (also called "elder mistreatment," "senior abuse," "abuse in later life," "abuse of older adults," "abuse of older women," and "abuse of older men") is "a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person." This definition has been adopted by the World Health Organization from a definition put forward by Action on Elder Abuse in the UK. Laws protecting the elderly from abuse are similar to, and related to, laws protecting dependent adults from abuse.
The core element to the harm of elder abuse is the "expectation of trust" of the older person toward their abuser. Thus, it includes harms by people the older person knows or with whom they have a relationship, such as a spouse, partner or family member, a friend or neighbor, or people that the older person relies on for services. Many forms of elder abuse are recognized as more……… mohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elder_abuse
What is the Stockholm syndrome?
Stockholm syndrome was a term coined by psychologists after a bank robbery incident in Stockholm, Sweden. During the robbery, customers and tellers were taken hostage by the Bank Robbers. After the hostages had been freed by the Police, many stated they were compassionate towards their captors. Psychologists now have a theory that this occurs with victims of elder abuse……they feel a perverse bonding with their perpetrators. This situation makes the reporting of such elder abuse to Law Enforcement problematic.
How is Gas Lamping used by perpetrators against the elderly?
Gas Lamping term is based on a 1940’s murder movie. A husband seeks to drive his wife crazy by making little changes in her environment and drive her to sucide so he can collect life insurance money. In todays world some prepatrators of elder abuse….seek to drive elders “crazy” by manipulating their environment.
What is Undue Influence?
Undue Influence involves abuse of a persons free mind. Often times in elders they are “weak of mind” and prone to control for “bad” purposes. With that said, it is often very difficult to prosecute for undue influence or assert civil claims for elder abuse wrong doing because of this often times presents itself as grey area.
What is Legal Abuse Syndrome ?
Karin Huffer's book on Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome, published by Fulkort Press, has an ominous subtitle: Warning: Protracted Litigation can be hazardous to your health. This insightful book offers numerous case studies on the invisible cumulative stressors complicating recovery from dealing with the justice system. It can be used as a self-help manual or a textbook for legal and health professionals. The methods outlined for dealing with losses and grief during litigation are sound and meet the standards of managed care. The victimization felt in the court system is well documented and validating to those who have experienced similar devastation of their belief systems. The burdensome duration, economic oppression, misinformation, character assassination and betrayal felt during and after legal proceedings are discussed.