Elder Financial Exploitation in the 21st Century: A Family Systems Perspective Review
Stephanie L. Teal
Greater Rochester Collaborative Master Social Work Program
Financial abuse/exploitation has become an increasing social issue in the 21st century. Although there are a great number of cases of financial exploitation committed by individuals that an elder does not know personally through theft, scams, fraud, etc., it has been found through research that financial exploitation/ abuse commonly involves trusted persons in an individual’s life such as family members and/or care givers. The high prevalence of family member/ care giver perpetrators of financial abuse and the often unreported cases makes it especially difficult to address the causes and risk factors behind the growing social issue. This research paper addresses financial abuse/exploitation within the family system and identifies intervention and prevention techniques that have shown to be helpful in working with family systems. A social workers role in identifying and preventing financial exploitation as well as policy implications will also be explored.