Financial abuse

The persons who may be interested in an elderly persons wealth believe that the person will not live long enough to take legal actions or get convincing witnesses to help them with their cases against them, the severely impaired are also not likely to take action against their perpetrators due to illnesses or a feeling of embarrassment since the persons abusing them may be the ones giving them love, care, shelter and companionship. The perpetrators therefore view these as perfect chances to manipulate the elderly and gain access to their finances and assets.

(Hardings, King & Kelly, 2002). The elderly persons may also lack financial knowledge about their assets therefore assigning other people to manage them for them which may lead to the manager manipulating the elder and making unscrupulous deals using their finances especially if the person has ill intensions. The advancing technology has made financial management complicated therefore the financial advisors or persons who may be having intension of stealing from the elders may use this technology to gain financially since the elders may not understand these new managing methods.

A study referred to as the National Elderly Abuse Incidence Study (NEAIS) which was funded from united states and conducted in 1996 provides a preview of new cases of elderly abuse that are taking place. The findings from the study indicated that the rate of abuse of the elderly persons is twice or three times higher than their general rate of population in the country. The study showed that the rate of abuse of female elders is higher that the abuse of male elders.

The study conducted by NEAIS further showed that almost half of the elderly persons who had reported cases of abuse or neglect to the Adult Protective Services were physically unable to take care of themselves. The study also showed that the rate of financial and domestic abuse is mostly conducted by family members and substitutes nine out of ten of the entire abuse of the elderly person. Further more, the study the study indicated that for every reported cases of neglect and abuse against the elderly persons, five cases went unreported. (Wilber & Reynolds, 1996).

However, there are many reasons why elderly persons may be reluctant to report cases of neglect or abuse by their perpetrators. The reasons are such as: the elderly may be suffering from a physical or mental disability which may make him/her incapable of reporting cases of abuse, some may not know that they have been financially abused by their perpetrators or they may recognize much later and think that it is too late to report the case, they may fear that the other people who will learn about it will not believe them and they may end up being labeled as victims.

The elderly may fear to loose the person especially if depend on them for love, care and shelter, they do not wish to put them into trouble but simply request them to stop the abuse. They may also fear that the knowledge of other people about their financial abuse may lead to his loss of freedom due to an appointment of a guardian or be taken to a long term care such facility such as nursing homes. (Fisher & Shelly, 2002). Financial abuse of the elderly persons has been reported to be on the increase.

Innocent old people are suffering in the hands of perpetrators who wear a veil to hind their real motives. They come with a pretentious motive of helping the elderly person but end up destroying him financially. There are various scenarios and case studies which have been carried revealing the many abuses and neglect the elderly undergo in the hands of their perpetrators.

One of such scenario was that of Mrs. L, 80 years of age who had health problems and therefore Susan who was 54 years came to live with her, Mrs. L had trouble getting around and taking care of herself therefore she required constant care and help. However, after sometimes in which things were going on well, Susan lost her job and started drinking excessively and spend a lot of hours watching television, this angered Mrs. L a lot causing arguments between them which eventually turned physical. Mrs. L also discovered that Susan has been taking large sums of money from their joint account.

She was very upset about the act by Susan but she was frightened of confronting her since it would make her angrier. In this scenario, it shows that Susan was taking advantage of the fact that she was taking care of Mrs. L and because the had access to her assets, then she was able to misuse the elder persons finances and manipulate her. Mrs. L on the other side was probably afraid of Susan leaving her alone, and also feared that people would not believe her arguments since Susan was taking care of her and she would be viewed as being ungrateful.