Seniors, especially women, are more vulnerable to elder abuse of all forms. Statistics show that more women than men fall prey to financial abuse.Financial elder abuse can be the taking of money or property from an elder. It can be misusing a power of attorney. It can be changing an elder’s will or trust using undue influence. It can include all sorts of schemes to sell something to an elder or failing to provide agreed services such as caregiving, home repair, or financial services.
Part of the reason more women than men are targeted is that there are more women than men in this country. In 2006 for example there were 21.6 million women 65 years of age or older and 15.7 million men over 65. San Diego county in particular has many men and women who are seniors.
Older Americans in general are susceptible to cognitive decline and health problems. These conditions can lead to frailty, difficulty making decisions, and being easily influenced. Also widows are sometimes in the position of becoming responsible not only for finances but also for home maintenance and tasks that formerly were managed by the husband. They may easily become victims of home repair scams, re-finance, or other financial scams.
Believe it or not, the largest percentage of perpetrators of elder abuse are trusted professionals, family, and caregivers but strangers and home repair scams are also becoming prevalent.
Some of the warning signs family members may notice are an unusual fear, isolation, withdrawal, anxiety, “new best friends”, missing money or property, reluctance to discuss matters that once were routine, and confusion about financial matters. The California Dept. of Justice has an excellent brochure online which discusses the prevention and reporting of elder abuse.
If you believe you or someone you are close to has been the victim of elder abuse, there are many remedies. Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation, handles such cases and can advise you as to how to report and remedy the abuse. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.