Frances Shani Parker, eldercare consultant and Detroit, Michigan author of Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes, writes this blog. Topics include eldercare, hospice, nursing homes, caregiving, dementia, death, bereavement, and older adults in general. News, practices, research, poems, stories, interviews, and videos are used often. In the top right column, you can search for various topics of interest to you. You can also subscribe to this blog or follow it by email.
One out of every 20 older adults in America will be a victim of financial
exploitation this year. They will come from varied social positions, geographic locations,
occupations, races, and nationalities. You or someone you know could be a
victim. You may also know the perpetrator of the crime. Perpetrators of embezzlement,
which is theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust, are often relatives and friends you know and trust.
This heart wrenching topic
brings to mind an important question that should be considered: What can others do to assist older adults in making good decisions for protection against financial abuse?With our quickly aging population, financial exploitation of vulnerable older
adults has become a profitable and easy way for many to make money. Horror
stories about stolen identities, looted bank accounts, and transferred property
ownership abound. The devastation left behind is sometimes insurmountable.
Is there a way to protect
older adults from this travesty while still allowing them their dignity
during the process? Dr. Peter Lichtenberg, Director of the Institute of
Gerontology at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, is creating the
Lichtenberg Financial Decision-Making Rating Scale for just that purpose. This assessment
will determine whether older adults are at risk for being victims of financial
abuse and their ability to manage their money and other assets. He hopes to be able to pilot the 61-question
assessment by the end of the year. The assessment and a more general
10-question screening exam would be used by professionals who work with older
adults such as attorneys, law enforcement officials, and people who work at
financial institutions. They would be in positions to determine whether those surveyed are experiencing undue outside influence and whether they are competent in
making good financial decisions. With this knowledge, they can better protect those most at risk for being exploited.
Last Will and Embezzlementis a groundbreaking
documentary film that is on national tour. Produced by Pamela
Glasner, whose brother was victimized by embezzlement, the movie raises
awareness about financial exploitation of older adults. The movie stars Hollywood icon Mickey Rooney
sharing his firsthand account of being victimized. The
following movie trailer gives a brief summary of the documentary and the magnitude
of this problem.