Financial Abuse of Elderly on the Rise, New Survey Finds

Another value of A Hand to Hold’s Care Management

services as documented by

National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM):

Financial Abuse of Elderly on the Rise, New Survey Finds

New Survey finds that financial abuse and exploitation of older Americans increasing. 

Most Common Form of Financial Elder Abuse is Theft by

Family, Friends, Neighbors and Caregivers

Financial abuse and exploitation of older Americans is on the rise, according to a new survey released by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM).  The survey, which also identified theft of money by family, friends, neighbors and caregivers as the most common types of abuse, comes on the heels of President Obama’s call last week for a new $25 million initiative to combat elder abuse as part of his budget.

NAPGCM surveyed 325 professional geriatric care managers nationwide about their experiences with financial abuse in their work with seniors.  Major findings of the survey include:

  • 71 percent of the care managers reported that financial abuse and/or exploitation of the elderly is a growing problem in their communities.
  •  The top 5 types of financial abuse most commonly encountered are:
  • Theft of money or property by family/friend/neighbor (79%)
  • Theft of money or property by caretaker/ in-home care provider (75%)
  • Investment/securities schemes through the mail or phone (52%)
  • Home Repair scams (45%)
  • Getting senior to sign a deed, will, power of attorney through deception (43%)

“Financial abuse of seniors is a growing problem.  Families with older parents need to know the warning signs of this all too common and often hidden form of elder abuse,” said NAPGCM President, Emily Saltz.  “Our survey shows that picking the right caregiver is crucial,” added Ms. Saltz.

According to the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) 1 in 20 older adults indicated some form of perceived financial mistreatment occurring in the recent past.   Most financial abuse goes undetected, as NAPSA estimates only 1 in 44 cases are reported.  So it is crucial that family and loved ones know the warning signs.  The NAPGCM survey asked professional geriatric care managers to identify the most reliable “red flags” that a senior might be the victim of financial abuse or exploitation.   The top five red flags identified are:

  • You and/or their bank notice unusual activity on bank accounts and/or credit cards that they can’t explain
  • A new “best friend” has appeared who is becoming heavily involved in personal activities
  • A friend, paid caregiver or trusted employee/vendor is isolating senior from others
  • Another family member becomes secretive or defensive about parent’s finances
  • Missing belongings or property are apparent

The survey, which was conducted March 4-8, 2014, also identified a number of emerging schemes professional care managers are seeing more frequently now in their communities, including:

  • A new version of the "Jamaican lottery" scams in which someone posing as a new friend of the senior, often pretending to have romantic interests, tricks them into purchasing cash cards supposedly to send payment in order to receive their lottery “winnings.
  • A rise in “caregivers” marrying seniors and then financially exploiting them.  

Please contact your A Hand to Hold Care Manager if you notice any “red flags”.

About NAPGCM

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families. Geriatric Care Managers are professionals who have extensive training and experience working with older people, people with disabilities and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist older adults who wish to remain in their homes, or can help families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. The practice of geriatric care management and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight, as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad. For more information, please visit http://www.caremanager.org

About A Hand to Hold, Inc.

When it comes to at home care for seniors, you want the best. But not all home care services are the same. All, of course, provide Caregivers. But A Hand to Hold offers something more - a A Hand to Hold Care Manager.

A Care Manager is a credentialed expert in senior care with a specialty in social work, nursing or mental health. Because of that, they can see and do things that other home care services miss. All Caregivers are A Hand to Hold employees that are highly trained, highly qualified and are supervised by the Care Manager, to not only maintain, but enhance the in home care experience.

A Hand to Hold was founded in 1999 with a mission of making the elder care experience a better one. And with the professional guidance and oversight of our Care Managers, we are able to make the home care experience better … one client, one family at a time!

400 Northridge Road, Suite 425   Atlanta, GA 30350    770-992-5820

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