The field of elder law involves all of the matters that are of interest to senior citizens, and one of the issues that is getting a lot of attention these days is that of elder financial abuse. This is a subject that is difficult to get a handle on because of the fact that a lot of the cases of elder abuse go unreported. According to the National Council On Aging only around 17% of cases of elder financial abuse are brought to the attention of the authorities.
For this reason statistics surrounding the matter are going to be educated estimates, and to that end the MetLife Mature Market Institute recently conducted a study in conjunction with the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) and researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Kentucky. The formal title of the study is The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse: Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation Against America’s Elders.
The reason why so many cases of elder abuse are unreported is because the victims often times know the perpetrator because elder financial abuse is commonly perpetrated by family members and others who are close to the senior being abused. The MetLife study used published scholarly papers and a news feed from the U.S. Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse to compile their statistics.
Their study indicates that 34% of the cases of elder financial abuse that they were able to identify were perpetrated by family members, friends, and people in the neighborhood. Other studies suggest that this number is much, much higher. These people don’t want to incriminate their family members and “friends” so they keep quiet about the victimization.
To learn more about this very serious problem and how you may be able to take legal steps to protect yourself, take a moment to arrange for a consultation with an elder law attorney.