June 12, 2018 | by Thomas Day
Roughly 35% of the 25 million persons in the U.S. at age 71 or above have mild cognitive impairment or dementia, according to a Duke University study. These people with impaired decision-making capabilities are highly susceptible to financial abuse.
Financial abuse of elderly persons who are impaired in their decision-making can take several paths. First of all, because of confusion or uncertainty about handling their own financial affairs, elderly people are often preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals trying to take away their money. Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that changes to the aging brain may make many older people less risk averse, thereby making them more susceptible to risky schemes. Because of this deficiency in thinking and in an effort to act on something that sounds too good to be true, many seniors are too trusting with their money with strangers.
It is not uncommon to hear on the news, almost weekly, about some sort of phone scam, mail scam or email scam that has taken advantage of some elderly person. The nonprofit Investor Protection Trust finds that 20% of Americans over age 65, or 7.3 million people, have been victims of financial swindles. States are eager to pass laws to prevent abuse and to prosecute wrongdoers, but it is impossible to control the sheer volume of bad actors who are taking advantage of the elderly.
Continue Reading - Financial Abuse of Senior Citizens
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