In the second part of the two-part series on victim risk factors for elder financial abuse (see part one here), we look at other circumstances such as depression and loneliness, social isolation and substance abuse that are risk factors for somebody becoming a victim of financial exploitation. As mentioned before, the presence of these factors doesn’t necessarily mean that somebody will be a victim, but they are things that cause an enhanced risk and are circumstances to watch out for.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the video series on the Financial Exploitation of Elders and presents part two of his discussion on victim risk factors that could make someone vulnerable for elder financial abuse and exploitation.
Victim Risk Factors For Elder Financial Abuse – Part 2
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another of our series of videos on the subject of Financial Exploitation of Elders, focusing on things that we can do to help identify it and prevent it. This is the second of our series of things to look for that are risk factors for somebody becoming a victim of elder financial abuse. As I mentioned the time before, the presence of these factors doesn’t mean necessarily that somebody will be a victim, but they are things that cause an enhanced risk that should raise our antenna, cause us to be on the look out.
The first that I want to talk about today is depression or loneliness. That is a factor that can apply to almost any senior. It’s particularly a risk factor soon after someone becomes widowed. Their life has been turned upside down, things are all different, somebody that they’ve depended on for a long time isn’t there, so they want people to come in and fill that gap and sometimes those aren’t nice people who are doing that.
Another circumstance is social isolation. We instinctively don’t want to be alone. For seniors, one of the most difficult things is losing the ability and privilege of being able to drive. Driving a car is sort of our window to the world in a lot of ways. So, people who are isolated, again, people come in, “Hi, I want to be your friend,” that tends to play and that’s something that can be exploited.
And finally, and unfortunately, is substance abuse. When we’re talking about substance abuse, I don’t want you to think of the gutter drug addict. But, the fact of the matter is that a lot of seniors have to take a lot of different prescription drugs and they can interact in some ways that are not good. So, somebody who is taking a lot of medications may have times where they’re not completely with it and that’s something that perpetrators can exploit.
So, again any of those things are circumstances to look for, to know, this is somebody that you may need to help look out for. Thanks.
For more information on helping elders, visit these articles:
- Victim Risk Factors For Elder Financial Abuse – Part 1
- Financial Exploitation of Elders: The Two Basic Types
- When Will Guardianship Be Necessary?
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