Report finds financial abuse of elders often not recognised

Family members are most likely to perpetrate economic, financial, and other forms of elder abuse (Bigstock)

Financial abuse of older Australians by family members or partners is bundled up with other forms of family violence, leaving some unable to recognise it and creating barriers against support, a new report says. Source: Yahoo News.

The most common financial abuse of elders includes misusing or stealing money, controlling funds, or coercing older people to sign legal documents to gain control over finances or property.

Victims are often reluctant to disclose the abuse, according to the UNSW report, Understanding Economic and Financial Abuse and Older People in the Context of Domestic and Family Violence.

Family members or intimate partners are the main perpetrators, UNSW Gendered Violence Research Network Co-Convenor Jan Breckenridge said.

“Many people don’t think about older people in the context of intimate partner relationships so don’t think of domestic and family violence as relevant to older people,” Professor Breckenridge told AAP.

Professor Breckenridge said the majority of reported elder abuse cases were family violence-related, with family members, particularly adult children and intimate partners, most likely to perpetrate economic, financial, and other forms of elder abuse.

The use of the broad term “elder abuse” for victims can lead to details of financial abuse, control or manipulation not being recognised, a review of literature found.

This means the right solutions are not offered, Prof Breckenridge said.

Banks have a key role to play in identifying and responding to economic and financial abuse of older people but along with aged care providers may lack experience in dealing with the matter.

The report recommends providing legal advice and resources to older Australians and mandatory reporting of financial abuse of elders.

FULL STORY

Elderly financial abuse under-recognised (AAP via Yahoo News)

RELATED COVERAGE

Elder abuse: more common and complicated than you think (Inside Ageing

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