23 August 2013

Financial Elder Abuse Stealing by Any Other Name

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Sacramento, CA: The state of California has one of the toughest and broadest laws protecting against Financial Elder Abuse in the US. So broad, in fact, that under financial elder abuse law if a business were to dispense the wrong change to a consumer and the individual was in a position to prove he was 65 or over, then the issuance of wrongful change could be interpreted as financial abuse of the elderly.

Financial Elder Abuse Stealing by Any Other Name

Sadly, according to a former professional in the salon industry who returned to school at 65 and became an attorney, elder abuse financial exploitation is becoming quite common, and very serious. “It never dawned on me that this might be a crime,” Helen Karr, today the elder abuse special assistant in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, said in comments published in The San Francisco Chronicle (The Chronicle 3/29/13). “It wasn’t until I became an attorney that financial abuse was included as a crime of elder abuse. It is just plain stealing.”

That stealing, more often than not, originates from within a senior’s own family.

Karr reveals that in her former career as a supervisor at beauty salons in department stores, she would overhear scores of conversations between hairdressers and their elderly clients lamenting the loss of funds to acquaintances, caregivers and even family members - loans that were never repaid.

Now 78, Karr has spearheaded various initiatives in an attempt to better protect the elderly from those who might otherwise take advantage of them. One of her initiatives was to spearhead an elderly financial abuse law in California that requires banks and financial institutions to report suspicion of elder financial abuse.

Part of the financial exploitation elderly problem is that medical science is allowing people to live longer than they used to. And while an individual may have more prolonged physical longevity than a previous generation, their mental capacity may not keep pace.

Hence, the upswing in financial elderly abuse.

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The first sentence above in this article is a crock.



  1. California's laws do go a long way towards solving
    the problem of financial elder abuse. However, Alabama's is far better than any other state. They appear to have seriously considered every tactic a predator could use and blocked that access.

    Looking at all the stories we receive on a daily basis there are still a few cracks that could be slipped through in the Alabama law but we have no doubt as the find them they will fix them.

    Their Governor, Attorney General, and his office, Senators, and Legislators have done a wonderful job. Every state should review the Alabama law when drafting legislation for their state.

    THE EARN PROJECT (Elder Abuse Reform Now)



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