Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

I’ve Quit . . .

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. . . giving advice

because my train of thought

goes off track too easily.

Wanna Make a Buck? Sucker a Senior.

Seniors – more than 1 million of them – are bilked out of some $3.5 billion dollars a year. Related costs, such as health care, social services, investigations, legal fees, prosecution, lost income and assets, reach the hundreds of of dollars annually. And for each case of reported financial abuse, there are an estimated four or more that go unreported.
Family members and caregivers are the culprits in more than half of these cases, and the most likely victim is between 70 and 89 years of age, white, female, frail and cognitively impaired, trusting of others, and may be lonely or isolated. In fact, elder financial abuse has become the crime of the 21st century.

This is a growing problem made greater by the growing number of older Americans, the relative wealth of this group, and the availability of technology that makes such abuse somewhat easier.
Family members and caregivers who financially exploit the elderly usually are dependent
upon them financially and their thievery may be influenced by such problems as alcohol and
drug abuse as well as a sense of entitlement — the culprits believe they have a right
to the money parents or charges have accumulated.

Among the reasons the elderly under report incidents of financial abuse are a fear of government interference, parents protecting their children and family members, embarrassment and self-blame, and fear of being placed in a facility or being harmed physically by the perpetrator.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 30, 2022 at 3:00 am

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