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'Tis the season to be wary of elder financial abuse
Date:12/14/2011

ely to fall victim to financial abuse as men. They often lived alone and frequently required some level of assistance with either health care or home maintenance. Conversely, nearly 60 percent of perpetrators were found to be younger males between the ages of 30 and 59. In almost all cases reported through the newsfeeds studied, financial abuse was achieved through deceit, threats and emotional manipulation of the elder.

Financial abuse cases tend to bundle into three distinct types of crimes: occasion, desperation and predation. Crimes of occasion evolve when the victim is perceived to be in the way of what the perpetrator wants be it money, jewelry, or a bank account.

Crimes of desperation are typically those in which family members or friends become so desperate for money that they will do whatever it takes to get it. Many of these family members are dependent on the elder relative for housing and money.

Finally, crimes of predation occur when trust is engendered for the specific intention of financial abuse later. A relationship is built either through a bond of trust created by developing a relationship (romantic, caregiving, or otherwise) or as a trusted professional advisory, and then used to financially exploit the elder.

10 tips for seniors to consider now and throughout the year

Preventing financial abuse begins with the elder. Some key considerations in avoiding such a situation include:

  1. Stay active and engage with others; isolation increases both vulnerability and opportunity for victimization.
  2. Monitor your financial affairs. Even if assistance is needed, you or a trusted friend or family member should double check bank and credit card statements and other financial transactions. It is advisable to use direct deposit when possible and to sign your own checks if able.
  3. Stay organized. Know where your financial documents are (including w
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Contact: Jean Elliott
elliottj@vt.edu
540-231-5915
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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