Financial Exploitation of Older Persons: Policy Issues and Recommendations for Addressing Them
The number of reported cases of abuse of older persons living in domestic (noninstitutional) settings in the United States has increased dramatically in the past two decades. A frequent form of elder abuse is financial exploitation (also known as financial abuse), which can occur through the misuse of powers of attorney and guardianships, illegal transfers of property, and outright fraud and theft. Financial crimes against older persons are particularly difficult to examine because they are often unreported by victims and professionals. Congress addressed concerns about financial exploitation in its 2000 reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, which required that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) conduct a study of financial exploitation of older persons. This article reports the results of the DHHS study.