Long-term care (LTC) facilities, financial institutions, and anyone involved with keeping tabs on home care providers could play a role in preventing, detecting and reporting elder financial abuse.
Witnesses talked about strategies for fighting financial abuse Thursday at a hearing organized by the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
The witnesses did not talk about long-term care insurance (LTCI), and they mentioned annuities and life insurance only in passing.
But several did talk about LTC providers.
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Hubert “Skip” Humphrey, III, an assistant director in the Office of Older Americans at the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), testified that “bad actors” could include family caregivers or paid caregivers as well as financial advisors, fiduciaries, home repair contractors or scam artists.
“Development of strategies to deal with the myriad of ‘bad actors’ is essential,” Humphrey said, according to a written version of his remarks posted on the committee website.
One step the Office for Older Americans is taking is to develop guides for “lay fiduciaries,” to help family members and others handle older people’s money in a prudent fashion and spot possible signs of financial exploitation, Humphrey said.
The office also is producing a guide aimed at LTC facility operators.
The office is hoping the facility operators will identify possible cases of financial exploitation and do something about them, Humphrey said.
When older adults who live in LTC facilities are the victims of financial abuse, “the first sign may be that their bills for their residences aren’t getting paid and they are threatened with eviction,” Humphrey said. “These settings include senior housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities.”