Elder Abuse is Growing More Prevalent

Elder financial abuseThe Administration for Community Living says that hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected and exploited every year.

They found that one out of every 10 people age 60 and older who live at home experiences elder abuse, including neglect and exploitation. Unfortunately, this statistic is probably underestimated as many victims are unable or afraid to report the abuse. Here are a few of the more 'popular' forms of abuse:

  • When it comes to scams, IRS phone scam are popular. A scammer calls a senior and threatens prison time because the senior owes the IRS money. In reality, the IRS doesn’t call people. Unfortunately, many senior citizens are the target of scammers through phone calls, email and postal mail. Scammers can use charm, intimidation or scare tactics to convince their victims to hand over cash or credit card information.
  • Also, many seniors don’t look at their Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs), which are received quarterly. This provides details for all of the services received and what Medicare will pay. It’s not a bill. It’s a summary of services and Medicare payments. Keep a log of when you go to the doctor or have a test or treatment so you can compare what you actually received to what Medicare paid.
  • There also can be problems with seniors who become attached to a caregiver, whether paid or not. This can lead to poor choices, especially when a caregiver has financial or family issues and shares these problems with a sympathetic senior. Frequently the senior can’t afford to help financially but will still do so because of his or her attachment to the caregiver.
  • The stealing of prescription medications from seniors is also a big problem. Sadly, statistics show that family members or friends of family members are the most likely perpetrators.

Reference: Hillsdale (MI) Daily News (July 13, 2016) “Understanding Elder Abuse”


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