A Growing Problem
Financial abuse of elders and dependent adults is on the rise. California is a prime target for financial abuse as the nation's highest retirement destination, with an estimated 4.2 million people over age 65 living in the Golden State in 2012. The California Department of Finance projects that by 2020, California's over-65 population will have increased by 50 percent from 2010 to 6 million and by 2020 will have doubled to 8.4 million as even the youngest baby boomers reach 65 years old.
Financial abuse is one of the most underreported crimes due to the victim's embarrassment, fear of loss of independence, intimidation by the perpetrator and widespread lack of awareness that it is a crime. In California, at least 10,000 reports of financial abuse are submitted every month according to Adult Protective Services (APS) programs, but experts agree that this number is too low and inaccurate.
Victims of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation are 3.1 times more likely to die at an earlier age than are those not victimized. Victims rarely recover financially and losses often lead to depression, increased physical problems, reliance on public benefits and even death. Increased funding and partnership is urgently needed to fight this growing problem.
What are the criminal penalties for financial abuse?
View the California Penal Code