As a vast sector of the US population reaches old age and the systems in place to supervise its care remain inadequate, instances of elder abuse will continue to rise. This includes not only the physical and emotional abuse of the elderly in nursing homes and care facility, but also financial exploitation and abuse at the hands of family, friends, caregivers, and financial advisors.
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.
In an upcoming program directed at the general public, the SEC Philly office, in conjunction with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, and Temple University’s Institute on Protective Services, will share the latest on the products, strategies, and scams that most affect elderly investors.
A recent report by the Pennsylvania Office of the State Inspector General has delivered sharp criticism of how agencies at the county level handle thousands of complaints about elder abuse and how the state supervises investigations into these complaints. It is the state’s duty to ensure that such investigations are reasonable and thorough.
As baby boomers hit retirements, bringing with them the largest amount of wealth a single generation has ever possessed, regulators at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) foresee an ever growing number of financial scams designed to separate boomers from their hard-earned savings.
Every year, new and more elaborate schemes appear to bilk older investors out of their life-savings. Fortunately, FINRA has committed itself to several early detection measures aimed at stemming the tide of elder financial abuse. The new measures also encourage broker-dealers to further supervise their own employees when it comes to suspicions of broker misconduct.
According to a revealing new report by NJSpotlight.com, which organized data provided by investigators who annually inspect 364 New Jersey nursing homes accepting Medicare and Medicaid, “the average New Jersey nursing home has about six deficiencies, ranging from food preparation to fire exits without proper signage and lighting to physical abuse.”
According a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article, lawmakers insist that enough nursing homes receiving government subsidies or support remain understaffed, thus increasing profit at the expense of care, to justify subpoenas, investigations, and litigation. The nursing home industry vehemently disagrees, and they have found their own lawyers to drive their point home.