Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Intimate Partner Abuse of Older Adults

Financial Exploitation

In a 2011 self-reported study1, financial exploitation was listed as the most prevalent type of abuse experienced by older Americans. The same study called for a greater emphasis on the identification and prevention of financial exploitation because although identified by elders themselves at a rate of 41 out of 1000 surveyed, it was not documented nearly as often.  The impact on older adults can range from depression to bankruptcy, and even physical harm resulting from essential needs like food, shelter, medication, or medical assistance going unmet. 

What are the risk factors?

The following factors increase an older person’s risk of being victimized:

Why are older adult’s attractive targets?
Who are the perpetrators?

Family members, including spouses, children, or grandchildren.   They may:

Predatory individuals who seek out older people to exploit them.  They may:

Unscrupulous professionals or person’s posing as such.  They may:

What are the indicators?

  1. Lifespan, et al. Under the Radar, New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, 2011, pg. 3.