June is Elder Abuse Month

Those who came before us have done so much to secure and enhance our futures, and they deserve to be safe, secure and protected. According to a recent study done by MetLife Mature Market Institute, around 2 million senior citizens fall victim to financial crimes and exploitation resulting in more than $2.9 billion in financial loss annually.

In the United States, according to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, over 70% of the nation’s wealth is held by citizens over 50. They can be seen as targets due to predictable financial patterns and a lack of knowledge about the true value of their assets. Not only should senior citizens be aware of ways to prevent elder financial abuse, but family members should also take precautions to ensure that their loved ones are financially secure.

To ensure your elders are safe from financial abuse, learn about some of the ways to prevent these crimes. Some examples include:

  • Place yourself on “Do Not Call” lists
  • Do not give personal information to anyone via telephone, letter, email, fax, and/or the internet
  • Shred important documents to ensure proper disposal

We hope everyone will also keep an eye out for warning signs of elder financial abuse. Warning signs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Missing property
  • Lack of documentation about financial agreements and their banking information
  • Unknown withdrawals or transfers from bank accounts
  • Additional unusual bank account activity

June has been named Elder Abuse Awareness Month by the Assisted Living Federation of America, and in light recent news about our VA hospitals and other news of inadequate care and outright abuse, the time has never been more appropriate for us to consider our roles in protecting those who have served us. To find out more information on how to prevent elder financial abuse, please follow the link to find the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation’s toolkit.