Nancy F. Slater (Retired)

Why don’t more victims report elder financial abuse?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2021 | Elder Law |

Did you know that for every reported case of financial elder abuse, hundreds or perhaps thousands of others go unreported? Elderly individuals and their families here in Indiana might not know about such abuse until significant damage occurs.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports that financial abuse against elders has quadrupled in recent years. It is time for families across the nation to increase their awareness of financial exploitation to keep our elderly loved ones safe from abuse.

Four important reasons abuse goes unreported

From decreased mental capacity to increased physical frailty, elders are extremely vulnerable to all forms of abuse. When financial exploitation occurs, most older citizens hesitate to report abuse. 

Below are the top four reasons why it goes unreported.

  1. Dependence. In some cases, the victim relies on the abuser for daily care, so they are afraid to tell others what is happening to them.
  2. Shame. Most elderly individuals believe they should have been wise enough to identify and stop financial exploitation and are ashamed they let it happen.
  3. Unawareness. Many abusers act covertly, robbing elders of their money, goods or even their identity until it is too late to stop the abuse.
  4. Ignorance. Often, an elder suffering from financial exploitation does not know how or to whom they should report the abuse.

Keep a watchful eye on your beloved elders whether they reside in a nursing facility or at home with a caregiver. If you notice anything unusual about their finances or their behavior, consider learning more about elder law. In many situations, you can stop the financial abuse your elderly loved one faces while also holding the responsible parties to account.