Financial exploitation of the elderly can be perpetrated by people they know, or don’t know, and can happen in many different ways, large and small. Financial exploitation means the misuse or withholding of an older adult’s resources by another. It is estimated that people 50 and older control 77% of all financial assets in the United States, so it is no surprise that financial exploitation continues to be the most common type of elder abuse. Anyone can be a victim, from the well-known, such as philanthropist Brooke Astor, actor Mickey Rooney, and L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, to every day folks, including your family. So, what can or should you do if you believe someone you love is the victim of financial exploitation?
First step may be to reach out to person you suspect is the victim and let them know you want to help them. You then need to report your concerns to the agencies and authorities that can help the victim.
You may report your concerns to the following:
- To report an emergency, call 911.
- Adult Protective Services, www.azdes.gov/reportadultabuse, 1-877-SOS-ADULT [877-767-2385]. APS is tasked with investigating all allegations of elder abuse to determine if what you suspect is elder abuse or neglect, and has authority to refer matters to law enforcement or take other remedial action.
- Area Agency on Aging – 24-hour Senior HELPLINE: (602) 264-HELP [(6020 264-4357]
- Or call the local police department.
You may also need to contact an elder law attorney to discuss the legal remedies and other resources available to stop, prevent, or remediate the financial harm. For more information, you can refer to the Elder Abuse Information and Training Guide at https://www.azag.gov/seniors/elder-abuse-information-and-training-guide.
If you are concerned about your elderly loved one, please contact Bivens and Associates, PLLC to speak with one of our experienced attorneys to learn more about your options, and how to best assist and protect your loved one.
-Stephanie A. Bivens, CELA, Esq.