Elder financial abuse is one of the least-studied aspects of nursing home mistreatment. But it is a major problem that could result in depletion of a lifetime of financial assets and valuable inheritances.
One study published in 2010 by the American Journal of Public Health revealed 1 in 20 older adults suffered elder financial abuse by a family member. Although close relatives were often the primary perpetrator, paid caregivers were often perpetrators as well.
Older Americans have several factors that make them vulnerable to financial abuse by caregivers, including:
- Significant assets (people over 50 control 70 percent of country’s wealth);
- Diminished cognitive capacity or vulnerability to use of physical force to gain compliance;
- Lack of active family support system to monitor these issues.