A recent Money article reveals the results of a new survey of caregivers about the prevalence of financial abuse among senior citizens. The survey found that about 37% of seniors experienced financial abuse. The last survey, which Allianz Life conducted in 2014, found only a 20% incidence of financial abuse. In two years, then, the rate of financial abuse among seniors almost doubled. Even worse, the survey found that, on average, seniors who experienced financial abuse lost $36,000 in assets, although other surveys found even higher amounts of losses. Aside from the obvious financial losses, seniors in this situation also suffer from shame, stress, and sadness, which can directly impact their physical health.
One reason for the rapid increase in financial abuse of seniors is the steadily growing population of retirees, many of whom are the height of their wealth. The prevalence of mental and physical health issues, including the estimated 5.4 million in the U.S. suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. One of the most common characteristics of Alzheimer’s is dementia, which can directly affect one’s ability to make important decisions, including financial decisions. Even absent dementia, though, the aging brain, in general, may increasingly have a difficult time making financial decisions and handling his or her financial affairs. Officially, this phenomenon is known as age-associated financial vulnerability. Due to a lack of reporting, often due to embarrassment, experts believe that the rates of senior financial abuse are even higher.
When an elderly individual falls prey to financial abuse, the results can be devastating. If you or a loved one is in this situation, you should definitely contact an experienced Wisconsin elder abuse attorney at Boller & Vaughan today. We know how to protect your rights and potentially get compensation for any injuries that occurred. Caregivers for the elderly have a duty to protect and care for their charges. When an individual fails to meet that duty, it is up to you to hold them responsible for their actions. Call Boller & Vaughan today at 608-268-0268 and see what assistance we can offer you and your family.