Claims of financial exploitation

Financial exploitation is a fast-growing form of abuse of seniors and adults with disabilities. Situations of financial exploitation commonly involve trusted people in the life of the vulnerable adult, such as caretakers, family members, neighbors, friends and acquaintances, attorneys, bank employees, doctors or nurses.

The number and complexity of reports involving financial abuse of vulnerable and older adults has grown significantly over the past decade. Recent research has found that elder financial exploitation is widespread, expensive, even deadly, and often goes unreported.

  • One in nine seniors reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the past twelve months; the rate of financial exploitation is extremely high, with 1 in 20 older adults indicating some form of perceived financial mistreatment occurring in the recent past
  • Elder abuse is vastly under-reported; only one in 44 cases of financial abuse is ever reported
  • Abused seniors are three times more likely to die prematurely and elder abuse victims are four times more likely to go into a nursing home
  • 90% of abusers are family members or others whom seniors trust
  • Almost one in ten financial abuse victims will turn to Medicaid as a direct result of theft and exploitation
  • Cognitive impairment and the need for help with activities of daily living make victims more vulnerable to financial abuse

Financial exploitation takes many forms. While the vast majority of reports involve perpetrators who are related to, or in a trusting relationship with, the victim, scams and frauds by strangers are also very common.

Reports of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults often involve allegations of abuse and neglect as well.

The effects of financial exploitation on a vulnerable adult are devastating. The individual frequently experiences:

  • Loss of trust in others
  • Loss of security
  • Depression
  • Feelings of fear, shame, guilt, anger, self-doubt, remorse, worthlessness
  • Financial destitution
  • Inability to replace lost assets through employment
  • Inability to hire an attorney to pursue legal protections and remedies
  • Becoming reliant on government ‘safety net’ programs
  • Inability to provide long term care needs
  • Loss of primary residence

If you think someone is financially taking advantage of your loved one, call us today at 860-259-1575.

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