The elderly person can stop the financial abuse against him/herself by reporting the abuse to the police, speaking to a lawyer or going to court to seek legal action. Other people can also help the elder to stop financial abuse against him by giving him information on financial abuse and the methods which the perpetrators use to steal from them.
One can give elder information on the different support services which he/she can seek help, act as an advocate of the older person, encourage the elder to participate in community activities and make new friends so as not to be a target of financial abuse and finally help the perpetrators with information of where they can seek help. (Price & Fox 1997). The third reason on the importance of studying elderly financial abuse is to know the methods that can be used to prevent the abuse from occurring.
The elderly can prevent the occurrence of abuse by becoming part of a group of friends and stay in touch with them regularly, he should be aware of all the signs of financial abuse so that he arms himself when a possible perpetrator comes by. The elderly should also keep track of all his property, banks accounts, belongings and financial records and keep money in banks and financial institutions but not in the house. He should have his pension check deposited directly in his account and he/she should have a written agreement with a person whom he/she intends to lend money to.
The elder should prepare a will with a lawyer’s help, review the frequently to make sure it is up to date, change the will after careful thought and finally he should talk to a lawyer on power of attorney, what may happen if he/she cannot be able to manage his assets alone and ask a trusted family member or a friend to review all his/her papers before they can be signed. Family members or friends can prevent financial crime by keeping in touch with the elders, noting changes that indicate aging of the person and therefore talking to the elder about management of his finances incase he/she is unable to manage them as a result of age.
Service providers can also prevent financial abuse against the elderly by developing policies which detect financial abuse and investigate on them, set training programs for their staff and volunteers, make sure the old know about available community services and also develop outreach services. Banks can prevent the abuse by training workers on the aging process, signs of financial abuse and the available community services for the elders, educate older customers on good financial practices and ways which can be used to prevent financial abuse, protect accounts as a way of protecting customers.
Finally, the general community can prevent elderly financial abuse by increasing public awareness on the vice, introduce disciplinary action against perpetrators, and develop a telephone hotline to be used by elders who may be experiencing financial abuse as well as developing advocacy programs for the old in the society, (Price & Fox 1997). In conclusion, guardians, law makers, lawyers, legal firms and family members of elderly persons who may be possible targets for perpetrators should protect them in the best way possible to ensure their safety.
Strict measures should be taken against those people who are found guilty of defrauding the elders so that the vice is reduced in the society. Those elderly persons who have already been a victim of the perpetrators should be helped in the best way possible so as to be able to recover his/her money or other property.
Dr Wiehe, V. R, (1998). Understanding family violence, New York: Sage. Fisher, S. Y. & Shelly, S. (2002), the complete idiots guide to personal finance, United States.
Alpha books. Harding, A. , King, A. , & Kelly, S. (2002). Trends in incomes and assets of elder Australians, University of Canberra, Australia. Price, G. & Fox, C. (1997), an edge against elder financial exploitation, 8(4), 59-71. Sanchez, Y. M, (1996), distinguishing cultural expectations in assessment of financial Exploitation: a journal on elderly abuse and neglect, 8(2), 49. Wilber, K. H & Reynolds, S. L, (1996), a framework for defining financial abuse of the elderly, 8(2) p61, 64.