There are an unprecedented number of people attaining senior citizen status at the present time in the United States. This is because of the fact that the baby boomer generation is getting older.
To understand the dynamic, consider the state of Social Security applications. The Social Security Administration is accepting approximately 10,000 applications for Social Security benefits each and every day. This volume is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
If you are among the many boomers who are approaching retirement age, you should certainly prepare yourself for the eventualities that you may face. The best way to go about it would be to discuss everything in detail with a licensed elder law attorney. When you have this discussion, you will learn some eye-opening facts, and you can take steps to protect yourself.
One major elder law issue of our day is the matter of elder abuse. The abuse comes in various different forms, and it can take place in different milieus.
Clearly, this is a horrible phenomenon, and because it is such a disconcerting subject, the matter has been swept under the carpet to some extent over the years. At the present time, elder abuse is getting a lot more attention from the powers that be, and this is a very positive development.
One form of elder abuse is physical abuse, and there are also instances of sexual abuse that are reported. Neglect is another form of elder abuse that can enter the picture at times.
In addition to the physical abuse, there is also mental abuse. Seniors can be victimized by bullying, name-calling, and threatening, intimidating behavior. All of these forms of abuse can happen in the homes of elders, and there are also instances of elder abuse that occur in nursing homes.
The Financial Element
In addition to the physical and verbal forms of elder abuse, there is another major problem that has captured the attention of the geriatric community. Elder financial abuse is running rampant, and the estimated losses are staggering.
Back in 2012, the first really intensive study was done by the MetLife Mature Market Institute. At that time, they estimated annual losses due to instances of elder financial abuse at $2.9 billion. Clearly, this is a very big number.
However, last year a new study was conducted. True Link Financial is a company that provides financial tools for senior citizens and family members who are looking after elder relatives. They placed an estimate of $36.5 billion in annual losses.
It is difficult for researchers to be certain when they try to compile statistics defining the elder financial abuse problem. This is because of the fact that the vast majority of cases of elder abuse that are perpetrated are never reported to the authorities. The figure is just one out of every 44 cases according to the New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study.
A very significant percentage of senior citizens are victimized to one extent or another. The True Link study found that almost 40 percent of senior citizens lose money to financial abuse at one time or another. Around seven percent of these individuals suffered major losses that exceeded $10,000. Among these people, the average loss was $52,300.
Senior citizens are often victimized by family members, friends, and caregivers who help themselves to financial assets that are accessible to them. These are typically going to be crimes of opportunity, but there are also predatory entities out there who target senior citizens.
Telemarketing scams are not uncommon, and senior citizens are often willing to engage in conversations due to loneliness. This dynamic can also enter the picture when someone comes to the door offering some type of home improvement or investment scam.
Identity theft is also a big problem, and elders who are not very good at navigating the Internet may not be aware of the tools that can be engaged to monitor your identity. Speaking of the Internet, there are also swindlers who use messaging and e-mails to try to bilk seniors out of their hard-earned money.
Elder abuse is a looming threat to our nation’s seniors, but there are legal steps that you can take to protect yourself in advance. Plus, elder abuse is not the only eventuality of aging that you should address.
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