The National Center for Elder Abuse indicated that there were 241,000 reports of elder abuse in 1994, a 106% increase from a 1986 study. Some state its even worse with 1 out of every 14 elderly actually being abused. The study also showed that 62% of the cases were perpetrated on women. More than 12% of cases involved financial or material abuse. In 35% of substantiated cases, an adult child was responsible, 13.4% from a spouse and 13.6% from another relative. Overall, 62% of the abuse problems emanated from family members.
"More than half of home care clients said they had been victims of abuse or neglect by personal care aides, in a study by Julianne Oktay and Catherine Tompkins of the University of Maryland School of Social Work. The researchers found personal care aides had little training and low pay, leading to a high potential for abuse of home care clients. An anonymous study was conducted of 158 personal care clients of all ages. The most common forms of abuse reported were theft, verbal abuse and neglect." (Older Americans Report, 11/4/94, p. 370)
The National Center for Elder Abuse found that female victims constituted 62% of elder abuse cases. More than 12% involved financial or material exploitation. In those cases, 62% of the perpetrators were family members. Several ways to stop abuse:
Use a POD account rather than the regular joint tenancy. POD means paid on death which allows the beneficiary to receive funds but only upon death. It should stop the draining of the account while the benefactor is still alive.
Use Direct Deposit for social security checks. But remember, if the account is jointly held with the abuser, the financial abuse may continue.
Consider bill paying services. They will control money outflows.
Appoint a representative payee to receive, sign and cash checks for federal benefits.