CONCORD — A national survey has revealed alarming statistics about the financial exploitation of the elderly:
• One in nine seniors reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the past 12 months; the rate of financial exploitation is extremely high, with one in 20 older adults indicating some form of perceived financial mistreatment occurring in the recent past.
• Elder abuse is vastly under-reported; only one in 44 cases of financial abuse is ever reported.
• Abused seniors are three times more likely to die, and elder abuse victims are four times more likely to go into a nursing home.
• 90 percent of abusers are family members or trusted others.
• Almost one in 10 financial abuse victims will turn to Medicaid as a direct result of their own money being stolen from them.
• Cognitive impairment and the need for help with activities of daily living make victims more vulnerable to financial abuse.
Leaders from the criminal justice, financial services, legal services and community-based supports fields will gather at the Grappone Conference Center on April 20 in Concord to share perspectives and ideas for improving our state's response to elder financial exploitation in a collaborative, coordinated way.
New Hampshire is experiencing a rapid increase in the number residents who are 60 years of age or older, who can be vulnerable to exploitation due to isolation, health issues including dementia, and reliance on caregivers. This combination creates a perfect storm and the need for a comprehensive plan for responding to the financial abuse of older adults.
The Coalition Against Later Life Abuse and coalition member New Hampshire Legal Assistance have organized Combating Elder Financial Exploitation in New Hampshire: A Leadership Summit. Major funding support for the summit is provided by Endowment for Health and Bank of New Hampshire.
"Elder financial exploitation not only hurts the victim, but also negatively impacts their families and the community at large. It is a problem that needs a civil and criminal legal response, a health care response, and a local and state government response. We're so grateful our partners and sponsors recognize the dire need for a multi-disciplinary plan to address this crisis," said Cheryl Steinberg, director of the Senior Law Project at New Hampshire Legal Assistance.
The summit will feature Paul Greenwood, deputy district attorney in San Diego, California, as the keynote speaker. Greenwood, a nationally recognized speaker and trainer, is a strong proponent of multi-sector approaches to address the issues of elder abuse – including financial exploitation. Ideas and recommendations generated at the summit will frame the agenda for continued discussion at regional follow-up meetings to engage additional leaders at the local level in the planning process.
- Category: Health and Wellness
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