An incidence of financial abuse of an older person may be intentional and clearly wrong, perhaps involving illegal activity, in which case it is likely to be easier to identify. Abuse is not always easy to identify however. Sometimes arrangements, originally motivated by good intentions, gradually erode into financial abuse, as the perpetrator succumbs to the temptation of opportunity, misguided feelings of entitlement, or even perhaps revenge for perceived past injustices.
Although recognising the potential for financial abuse of an older person may not always be easy, there are a number of factors which, if present, may indicate a heightened danger of abuse and encourage the practitioner to ask more questions and to be more alert.
Consider whether they appear to be:
- displaying reduced capacity
The practitioner needs to be mindful of these features when advising a client on future arrangements (prevention) and, if one or more of the above features are evident, especially alert when assisting the older person with existing arrangements (remediation).
Abuse is most commonly carried out by family members and, in particular, adult sons. Having children that care about you is identified as a mitigating factor.