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Financial Crime Against the Elderly

Elder Financial Abuse

Financial exploitation is considered one of the most notable forms of elder mistreatment. This form of financial abuse does not only lead to the loss of finances but is also linked to emotional injury of the victims involved. Elder financial exploitation occurs when there is misappropriation of finances in the circumstance of a relationship where maximum trust is anticipated[1]. The misappropriation is thus seen as a deliberate act to cause financial harm to the older persons. [2]The financial impacts of the elder financial abuse as well as the effects of the crime on the affected victims are advanced herein.

Elder financial exploitation leads to significant financial losses both at the individual and national level. It is estimated that the US for instance loses a minimum of $ 2.9 billion annually as a result of elder financial abuse. [3]Financial exploitation causes a significant rise in healthcare expenses that consequently increase the cost of the government in managing programs such as Medicaid of Medicare. Besides the emotional trauma that the victim faces after an elder financial abuse, the act has significant effects on financial costs.

Most elderly are over 70 years of age and cognitively impaired thus forced to rely on the services of a caregiver and family members among others to manage the finances. [4]While most victims of the crime are affected by certain decline, there is a given population that is overly competent, though fall victims by being lured into deceitful sales pitches that promises rewards. Elder financial crime can also occur as a result of coercion of the elderly to participate in a legal procedures (signing of title deed) without an explanations or directions.[5] Irrespective of the cause or motive of elder financial abuse, the crime has adverse emotional effects on the victims and contributes to serious financial losses to the affected victims and the nation.   


[1] DeLiema, Marguerite. Elder fraud and financial exploitation: Application of routine activity theory. The Ger 1, 11(2017)

[2] Jackson, Shelly L. All elder abuse perpetrators are not alike: the heterogeneity of elder abuse perpetrators and implications for intervention, 60 Th. Ch. Crim, 265-285 no. 3 (2016)

[3]DeLiema, Marguerite. Elder fraud and financial exploitation: Application of routine activity theory. The Ger 1, 11(2017

[4] DeLiema, Marguerite. Elder fraud and financial exploitation: Application of routine activity theory. The Ger 1, 11(2017)

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