Anyone who would prey on the elderly has sunken to some pretty low depths, but unfortunately, elder financial abuse is a huge problem in the United States at this time. There was a study done recently by the MetLife Mature Market Institute that probed into the matter, and their findings should be of interest to anyone with elder family members, and those involved in the elder law community and senior citizen matters.
The study was done with the partnership of researchers from Virgina Tech and the University of Kentucky along with the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA). They went through news articles that have been accumulated by the U.S. Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse along with scholarly research papers to assemble their findings and draw some conclusions.
One of the things about the subject that makes it difficult for researchers to produce truly accurate statistics is that the vast majority of cases of elder financial abuse are never reported. There are a handful of reasons why this is so.
For one, a lot of people bilked or stolen from are simply not aware of it. Others know what happened but are ashamed of it, and they keep it a secret. And the most frequent reason is because the abuser is a family member or friend of the victim and the victim does not want to cause trouble for the perpetrator.
According to the MetLife study, 34% of the cases that they analyzed were perpetrated by people with close ties to the victims. Other sources have stated that this percentage is actually quite a bit higher.
To gain an understanding of what you can do from a legal perspective to protect yourself and loved ones from elder financial abuse, simply get in touch with an experienced elder law attorney to set up a consultation.
President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday
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