Like other areas of California, San Mateo County is seeing an upsurge in cases of elder financial abuse. The reasons can be seen in demographics - by 2030, a quarter of San Mateo residents will be over 65. That means financial predators have a growing base of potential victims to exploit.
Facing this challenge, San Mateo County's leadership has responded in an innovative way by forming a multidisciplinary team to take on elder abuse. EDAPT, the Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team, is a joint program with elements of the San Mateo District Attorney's Office, the County Counsel's Office, and Aging and Adult Services to coordinate action to protect elderly victims of abuse and bring wrongdoers to justice.
One of EDAPT's main areas of focus is elder financial abuse - according to county statistics, 26% of Adult Protective Services cases involved some financial exploitation. And the team is producing positive results, primarily by implementing a system of quick reaction. They've managed to cut down response times when intervening in cases of abuse, which can prevent further losses. By connecting with law enforcement, bank and financial professionals, medical personnel, and even real estate agents, EDAPT can work swiftly across county departments to stop predators in their tracks. In one instance team members succeeded in halting a fraudulent real estate sale that would have robbed an elder of their home. From 2015, the time the program has been in effect, nearly $2 million in court-ordered restitution has been returned to victims of exploitation.
The threat posed by elder financial abuse to California communities isn't diminishing - in fact, it's growing. That's why a quick, coordinated response is necessary to safeguard our seniors and hold abusers accountable. EDAPT is a great model for action, and San Mateo County should be commended for its initiative. If other counties follow its lead, we can go a long way in protecting our elderly loved ones and communities.
Hackard Law receives several calls about elder financial abuse every week, and whenever appropriate we refer cases to law enforcement and adult protective services. We represent beneficiaries in significant civil litigation involving estate, trust and elder financial abuse. We work across California, including in San Mateo, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Santa Clara and Alameda. Call us today at 916-313-3030, and we'll be glad to see how we can help you.