World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
June 15th is recognized as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Each year, an estimated 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited. Older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion or more annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could be used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care.*
What is Elder Financial Abuse?
Elder financial exploitation is the theft of money, property, or belongings from seniors. It occurs when unauthorized or improper actions by an individual use the resources of an older person for personal profit or gain. Understanding and identifying elder financial exploitation can help you protect yourself, your loved ones, or someone you care for who may be at risk for this kind of abuse.
Signs of Elder Financial Abuse:
- Taking money or property without consent
- Frequent expensive gifts to a caregiver
- Forging an older person’s signature
- Getting an older person to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence
- Using the older person’s property or possessions without permission
- Promising lifelong care in exchange for money or property and not following through on the promise
- Telemarketing scams. Perpetrators call victims and use deception, scare tactics, or exaggerated claims to get them to send money. They may also make charges against victims’ credit cards without authorization.
- Adding a caregiver to a bank account
- Frequent checks made out to “Cash”
- Unpaid bills or unusual activity on the elder’s account
How to Report Elder Abuse:
Adult Protective Services (APS) is working with community partners and professional groups around the state to raise awareness about adult abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Elder abuse affects many older people and people with disabilities. We believe it’s our job in the community to keep an out for our elders to ensure they’re not being taken advantage of. By bringing awareness to this issue, we’re hoping to prevent this from happening to you or someone you know and love. To report abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400. You can also visit the Department of Health and Human Services online at www.ncea.acl.gov.