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Romance Scam Research Center

2012: US: A Family Systems Perspective of Elder Financial Abuse

Gibson, Sheri C; Qualls, Sara Honn.  Generations Journal; San Francisco Vol. 36, Iss. 3, (Fall 2012): 26-29.


Abstract: "Elder financial abuse is the fastest growing form of elder exploitation. Incidences of this type of abuse by family members are increasingly visible, as illustrated by the case of wealthy philanthropist Brooke Astor, whose 85-year-old son was imprisoned for grand larceny. Unlike other forms of abuse, elder financial abuse is largely private, occurring often in the context of close relationships. Indeed, 55% of all this abuse occurs within families, representing a 5.2%, one-year incidence rate among older adults. Given the complexity of the family system and the multiple avenues for intervention in elder financial abuse, professionals are in a unique position to identify, assess, and help guide families toward resolution. Gathering data related to the underlying barriers such as recognition, reporting, cognitive impairment, undue influence, and financial control can be a first step to preserving family unity and providing members with a variety of options."

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