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In June of 2023, the AARP published a report entitled, “The Scope of Elder Financial Exploitation: What it Costs the
The report further found that most of the financial exploitation was committed by individuals known to the older victims, including family, friends, and caregivers. Such individuals were found to be responsible for stealing $20.3 billion from older adults each year. However, it is estimated that only 12.5% of financial exploitation cases involving perpetrators known to the older victims are reported (compared to 67% of financial exploitation cases perpetrated by
The report confirmed that the costs of financial exploitation can be quite substantial to older victims of abuse. It is not uncommon for older victims to lose most of their retirement savings or other resources, including their homes or residential properties. Because most cases of financial exploitation involve people known to the older victim, they may be hesitant to report the exploitation due to shame or embarrassment, or in some cases, because they rely on the perpetrator for care and assistance. Older victims may also experience a decline in their mental or physical health, with some studies finding that financial exploitation among older adults can lead to a premature
Financial exploitation can also be very costly to the caregivers of older victims. It is often family caregivers who provide care after an older victim’s resources have been lost due to financial exploitation. The loss of time and resources provided as a caregiver can be significant. One study found that caregivers of older adults collectively sacrificed $67 billion in lost wages due to unpaid.