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What things can impact elder financial abuse risks?

From cons, to scams, to thefts, to fraud, to false promises, to coercion, to scare tactics, to forgeries, elder financial abuse can take all manner of different forms. Whatever its particularly type, elder financial exploitation can wreak havoc on an elderly individual and their family, financially and emotionally.

There are a range of things that can impact how at risk a given elderly individual is for elder financial abuse, including:

  • Their social situation. Isolation and loneliness can put an elderly individual at a higher risk of being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals. 
  • Their financial knowledge level. Financial exploitation vulnerability can be upped when a senior has a low familiarity with issues regarding finances and money management.  
  • What things are happening in their life. Certain events, such as a recent major loss, could cause a senior to be more prone to being a victim of elder financial abuse.
  • Their health. Some mental and physical conditions could create increased vulnerabilities regarding elder financial exploitation. 

When a person sees signs that an elderly family member may be particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation, one thing that may be a very high priority for them is protecting their family member. There are a variety of different possible methods for getting such protections in place, including pursuing a conservatorship. These different strategies vary in what situations they are best at handling. Elder law attorneys can advise families concerned about the financial abuse vulnerability of an elderly family member on their options for protecting their loved one.

Source: National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, "Financial Abuse," Accessed April 22, 2016

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