Financial exploitation can happen to anyone of us, but the elderly are especially vulnerable to such mayhem. How do we prevent elder financial abuse in our communities and promote an ethic of responsibility? We must focus not only on individuals, but also on community institutions - and banks are key players in any effort to protect our seniors from wrongdoing.
Elder financial abuse is a crime that robs Americans of billions every year. According to a survey conducted by the Elder Protection Trust in 2010, around one out of five senior citizens has been or will be a victim of fraud. And still other figures don't leave room for much optimism - the National Adult Protective Services Association states that only about one in fourty-four elders will end up reporting when they've financial exploitation. With such daunting odds in the fight against elder financial abuse, where is the best point to prevent it - or stop it in its tracks - early on?
When a bank attempts to pass the buck on elder financial abuse, should it be held accountable for its actions? As reported by the Santa Cruz Sentinel's Jeremy Thomas, a recent case out of Livermore has highlighted just this problem - while underlining the necessity of safeguarding our senior citizens from exploitation.