June 15th marks the day we commemorate, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, to raise awareness about the millions of older adults who experience elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
Elder financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of an elder’s money by a family member, friend, neighbor, acquaintance or stranger. Individuals over the age of 60 make up the largest growing segment of our population. This age group is at risk and are often targeted by dishonest people. As many as 1 in 10 older Americans are abused or neglected each year and only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever comes to the attention of authorities.
One of the most devastating and unrecognized forms of abuse is financial abuse. According to AARP, nearly two-thirds of all deposits are held by people over the age of 50. Therefore, financial institutions and their employees have been and will continue to be integral in the successful detection and prevention of elder financial exploitation.
All of us have a critical role to play to focus attention on elder justice. Older Americans are vital, contributing members of our society and their abuse or neglect diminishes all of us.
Below are links to helpful information on the signs of elder financial abuse and how to report it: