December 02, 2014

Elder Financial Abuse—A View from the Front Lines, Part I: Preventing and Identifying Elder Financial Abuse

Catherine A. Seal

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part article on elder financial abuse. Part I addresses prevention and identification, Part II will focus on how to intervene, and Part III will concentrate on remedies.

The annual financial loss by victims of elder financial abuse (EFA) is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion, according to Elder Financial Abuse, a June 2011 study by MetLife. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be victims. Most victims are between the ages of 80 and 89, live alone, and require some level of help with either health care or home maintenance. Nearly 60 percent of perpetrators are male, and most male perpetrators are between the ages of 30 and 59, while most female perpetrators are between the ages of 30 and 49.

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