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Elderly Financial Abuse and the Government’s Answer

Elderly Financial Abuse and the Government’s Answer

Elderly financial abuse has become a serious problem in society – so serious, in fact, that the United States government has responded with a number of websites dedicated to the research and response to the issue. The websites are run by agencies such as the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Administration on Aging (AOA). These agencies handle all types of elder abuse, but financial abuse has received its own dedicated pages and tabs.

These sites are important for doctors, relatives, and caregivers who handle elderly care on a daily basis. The information provided includes a careful assessment of who abuses, why they abuse, and what to do in response to the abuse. The sites also help readers understand how to recognize the abuse, because recognition is often the hardest step in the process.

The NIJ states that understanding why someone abuses an elder requires more government research, however, they state that financial abuse is the lowest form of financial abuse. The site also admits that this number may be skewed by unreported cases of abuse, and, in fact, some elders may not realize they are being financially abused. The NIJ reveals that more research must be done, but the fact is that it is happening much more often than people realize.

Financial abuse happens when someone steals money, spends an elderly person’s money, or forges an elderly person’s signature. Property is also an issue; when someone uses, sells, or takes an elderly person’s property, it is considered financial abuse. The government recognizes this and is currently researching the situation to find answers.

The government is providing education at this juncture for doctors, caregivers, and loved ones who have elderly family members. The Federal government’s Justice Department is proactive for reported cases, investigating all reported cases and prosecuting those who are found guilty. However, as elder financial abuse is difficult to recognize, the Government is taking a retroactive stance through education.

The reason financial abuse is so difficult to recognize is because many elders don’t see it as abuse. They simply think they are taking care of a loved one, because many of the people who financially abuse an elder are family members. This is why the government websites are focused on educating everyone on recognizing the signs, reasons for abuse, and proper reactions when abuse is discovered.

It is important for caregivers, doctors, and family members to keep up with these websites, at
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)  and Administration on Aging (AOA) As research is ongoing, government agencies will share information with the public on these sites. Doctors often direct patients to these sites, as they are easy to read and understand. The government is working toward bringing this crime to light. Anyone with an elderly loved one must be educated on the signs, dangers, and reality of financial abuse.

If you want more information on financial abuse, or need help understanding the signs, call Vancouver Home Health Care Agency today.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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