Have you ever been in an audience and the speaker says, “half of you will die of cancer.” You then spend the next few moments looking around the room, deciding which poor souls will be stricken because obviously you will not be among them.
Well, that seems to be the attitude older Americans have about financial abuse, according to a report by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. In their study, Safeguarding Our Seniors, 89 percent of seniors said “they could recognize elder financial abuse if it happened to them or a family member/friend, with only 1 percent definitively responding they could not. Yet only 78 percent of younger family/friends of elders – some of whom are in a position to care for those elders – had confidence in their own ability to recognize elder financial abuse, and more than one in five (22 percent) said they could not or are unsure.”
“Although some of the differences in the responses of elders and family members are not huge, these statistics are concerning because they may point to overconfidence on the part of elders to detect and stop financial abuse,” said Allianz Life President and CEO Walter White. “With financial abusers becoming increasingly sophisticated, elders should be very cautious about overconfidence. Vigilance and education about the sources of financial abuse can help elders and caregivers take steps to prevent the abuse from occurring.”
Other findings from the study: