The financial exploitation of elders is a devastating problem. The annual losses in the United States is estimated to range in the billions of dollars. There is, however, quite a bit of divergence in the studies because it is a seriously underreported problem.
There are two basic types of financial exploitation of elders. The first is stranger abuse, which includes scammers or could be a new friend. The second type involves someone close to the elder person, such as a family member, a fiduciary, or even a close friend. In both cases, the financial exploitation is often not reported. There are a variety of reasons for this, such as the elder person doesn’t want to admit being gullible or, in the case of a family member, the elder person doesn’t want to admit the abuse being in the hands of someone they love. It’s really a serious problem and one that when we recognize it, we can work towards limiting the instance of elder financial abuse.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, begins a new video series on the Financial Exploitation of Elders and offers insights on the two basic types and discusses how devastating and underreported this problem is.
Financial Exploitation of Elders: The Two Basic Types
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is going to be the first in a series of videos that we do on a serious subject and that is the financial exploitation of elders.
It is a devastating and underreported problem. Estimates as to the annual losses in the United States from financial exploitation of elders range in the billions of dollars. Quite a bit of divergence in the studies. Big reason for that is – it is a seriously underreported problem. Estimates are that only somewhere between 1 in 5 and 1 in 23 instances of elder financial abuse are reported. The main reason for that is sad, but logical, and that is that elders are very reluctant to report.
In one of the types of elder abuse, we call stranger abuse (scammers or somebody that’s a new friend), there’s a reluctance to admit that we were gullible, that we’ve been hoodwinked. And in the case of the other type of financial abuse (something in the hands of a family member, a fiduciary, or a other close person), there’s a reluctance to report because often that has occurred at the hands of someone that we love. People really don’t want to see their child or grandchild sent off to prison. So, they hope that it was just a one time thing and it won’t occur again. But, it’s really a serious problem.
So, our purpose here is to see if we can help educate people so that we can all play a role in identifying and limiting the instance of elder financial abuse. So, stay tuned. I think you’ll learn a lot and you’ll appreciate it. Thanks.
For more information on helping elders, visit these articles:
- Second Childhood: Parenting Lessons For Dealing With Elders With Dementia
- My Life is a Struggle, But I Don’t Want Help: Senior Resistance to Change and Care
- When Will Guardianship Be Necessary?
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.