According to the National Council on Aging, one in ten Americans over the age of 60 will experience some form of elder abuse. Financial exploitation of older adults is one form of abuse that is on the rise! Raising awareness about this issue is important, especially in Maine due to our state’s rapidly aging population. June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD)—marking a perfect opportunity to educate your members about elder financial abuse and how to prevent it.
To help your credit union educate your members on this topic, the League has created a video which can be shared on your social media feeds or on your website. The video also provides tips on what to do if you suspect elder financial abuse and signs to look for.
We also have developed graphics for use on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Summarized below are some helpful tips you also can share with your members.
Knowing the Signs of Elder Financial Abuse:
- Money missing from accounts
- Unusual use of credit card activity
- Unpaid bills, collection letters, or a lack of food in the home
- Changes in mood or behavior (depression, anxiety, etc.)
- Missing belongings
How to Take Action:
- Call emergency services (911)—this is especially important if you feel someone is in immediate danger
- Contact protective services
- In Maine, the number to call is 1-800-624-8404 (24-hour, toll free)
- Create an FTC Identity Theft Report
- Reach to their credit union or financial institution
- Contact the nursing home ombudsman (if the victim is living in a nursing home)
- Remain in close contact