Elder Abuse is on the Rise

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The Jewish Association for Services for the Aged has noticed more than a twenty percent jump in financial abuse cases of elders over the past two years. City lawmakers and advocates say it's a growing problem.

Mara Schecter is the organization's director. "We see clients where their children move in with them because they're unemployed and then they do not contribute to household expenses," she says, "And even more than that, they exploit the older adults limited income.  They take their social security money, they away take their ATM."

Schecter says this trend coincides with the recession.

According to initial findings of a study released by the the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, financial abuse is the leading form of abuse against older adults.

At at City Council hearing Monday, advocates talked about challenges to stopping crimes against seniors. Councilwoman Jessica Lapin, who chairs the Aging Committee, says many victims don't come forward because the perpetrators are usually family members.

"They are ashamed, they feel like they somehow failed in raising that child -- they don't necessarily want to put their own child behind bars.”

The City Council is allocating $800,000 dollars to programs dedicated to the prevention of elder abuse in its current budget.

Victims are encouraged to call the Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center which can be reached by dialing 311.


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Comments [2]


There are also some professional caregivers who exploit the elderly. Elders whose families live out of town are particularly vulnerable. While most agencies do a good job of screening their applicants, there are also independent caregivers, many of whom are from other countries, and are not properly screened by those who hire them. The caregivers are well aware of the lack of screening, stay until the individual is unable to communicate or passes away. They then repeat their crimes with each new job.

Dec. 02 2010 07:59 AM
Connie Williams from Virginia

I have a special place in my heart for the elderly and am glad they are bringing more awareness to Financial Elder Abuse. A few years ago as a blogger, I too did an article on Financial elder abuse and the signs of FEA because my own father was a victim as well. Unfortunately a lot of the victims are afraid to speak out because it is usually those who are closest to them that are committing these crimes. There are some wonderful agencies out there who are willing to assist the elderly if they are willing to speak out.

Nov. 24 2010 11:27 PM

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