To the Journal editor:
Financial exploitation includes the misuse or withholding of an older individual's resources, by another to the disadvantage of the older adult or the profit or advantage of someone else.
Unfortunately, financial abuse appears to be a growing concern for our older adult population, and is categorized as the crime of the 21st century." Older adults are victims of financial abuse, and reports show that, 1 in 5 adults over the age of 65 have been victimized by financial fraud in the U.S. in 2011.
This accounts for 7.3 million older Americans. These numbers are frightening and unfortunately the risk of elder abuse, neglect, and financial abuse will continue to increase because we are living in an aging society. Older adults (65 and over) are the fastest growing age group. By 2030, there will be more than 37 million older adults in this country.
The number of individuals affected by financial abuse is distressing. You may be asking yourself, "How can we help protect our growing population of older adults from this type of abuse?" Michigan can address financial crimes and exploitation against older adults and other vulnerable adults through advocating for Michigan House Bill 4333. This bill will help protect our older Americans, by requiring mandatory reporting of suspected financial exploitation among all organizations working with older and vulnerable adults.
I am asking for you to support House Bill 4333 by contacting your local legislators to inform them of the importance of protecting older adults from financial abuse and passing this important legislation.