Experts Say Elder Abuse May Spike
But if you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably seen at least one story that deals with elder abuse. In other words, you may already be aware of how elder abuse has become a national epidemic.
Local news outlets recently picked up a story about a Delaware County woman who has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 from her mother through bank and social security accounts. At the same time, the woman was neglecting her mother, forcing her to live in appalling conditions. And, over the past several weeks, the story of comic book legend Stan Lee and his disturbing dealings with his business manager, who has been accused of elder financial abuse and embezzlement, among other things, has also made headlines.
Elder abuse is everywhere, though; not just on the news. One of the reasons for the growing problem is that the largest and wealthiest generation in American history — the Baby Boomers — have retired and are aging. Meanwhile, their children and grandchildren may be struggling. This is a recipe for disaster and exploitation that regulators and legislators have been working diligently to solve before it gets any worse.
Some Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
The warning signs are often clearer than we would like to admit.
Sudden changes in beneficiaries and financial professionals may indicate some form of abuse or exploitation is going on.
Family members who have suddenly paid off their mortgages or are driving around in a new expensive car may also come under suspicion.
Unfortunately, hard experience tells us that it’s not cyber-hacker or master criminals who are behind most instances of elder financial abuse — sadly, it’s those closest to the victim. Friends, family, financial advisors.