Boehmer, Norine

Combating Elder Financial Abuse

By Norine Boehmer, CLPF, and Lori Hefner, CLPF

Elder financial abuse is the wrongful taking of money or property and is costing seniors nearly $3 billion a year according to a recent study. This problem is on the rise, striking one in four seniors in the U.S. Sadly, seniors are typically being taken advantage of by someone close to them such as a neighbor, family member, or caregiver.

Unscrupulous caregivers have come up with ingenious ways to take advantage of unsuspecting seniors. Most recently, a caregiver would play a game with her ward, Donna LeBoeuf, who suffers from early stage dementia. She’d have her scribble her signature on pieces of paper. What she didn’t know was that by playing this “game,” she ended up signing away control of her finances and medical decisions…all to someone to whom she thought was looking out for her best interest.