Elder Financial Exploitation


Financial exploitation is a fast-growing form of abuse of seniors and adults with disabilities. Situations of financial exploitation commonly involve trusted persons in the life of the vulnerable adult, such as:

    • Caretakers
    • Family members
    • Neighbors
    • Friends and acquaintances
    • Attorneys
    • Bank employees
    • Pastor
    • Doctors or nurses


APS programs report that the number and complexity of reports involving financial abuse of vulnerable and older adults has grown significantly over the past decade. Recent research has found that elder financial exploitation is widespread, expensive, even deadly.

    • One in nine seniors reported being abused, neglected or exploited in the past twelve months; the rate of financial exploitation is extremely high, with 1 in 20 older adults indicating some form of perceived financial mistreatment occurring in the recent past
    • Elder abuse is vastly under-reported; only one in 44 cases of financial abuse is ever reported
    • Abused seniors are three times more likely to die and elder abuse victims are four times more likely to go into a nursing home
    • 90% of abusers are family members or trusted others
    • Almost one in ten financial abuse victims will turn to Medicaid as a direct result of their own monies being stolen from them
    • Cognitive impairment and the need for help with activities of daily living make victims more vulnerable to financial abuse


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