More people stealing from their elderly relatives | Healthquest | -- Your State. Your News.

Jun 02nd
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More people stealing from their elderly relatives


People who are desperate for money to pay their bills, mortgages, or college tuition do things that in other times they'd never consider.

Like stealing from an elderly relative who is in a nursing home.

And yet, complaints of senior abuse in long-term facilities were up 9 percent in May, according to, partly because of charges that family members are stealing money from elderly relatives.

"Financial exploitation does seem to be on the rise," said Debra Branch, the New Jersey ombudsman for the Office of the Institutionalized Elderly in the report. "When times are tough economically, it is all too easy for some people to try to inappropriately access the resources of an elderly relative."

"We see it across every economic class," Branch told "The more money involved, the greater the chance we'll see this exploitation."

For more information on elder abuse and on how to file a complaint contact the Department of the Public Advocate.


Comments (1)
1 Tuesday, 16 June 2009 23:15
Elaine Renoire
Here's a type of financial exploitation on the rise that's rarely talked about: unlawful and abusive guardianships - a growing national epidemic.

Guardianship wards are stripped of all rights: the right to decide where to live and whom to associate with, how to spend (or save!) ones own money, to accept or refuse medical treatment -- or even ask for a second opinion, marry, vote, etc. Most important, wards are stripped of the right to complain.

With the fox guarding the henhouse and the hens muzzled, guardians and their attorneys can easily unjustly enrich themselves at the expense and to the detriment of the very person they have been court-appointed to protect.

Many wards are forcibly taken from their homes and isolated in nursing homes against their will – and family is not permitted to visit or have information or input regarding medical “care”. Wards die prematurely – alone and afraid. The devastation victims and families suffer at the hands of the system haunts them for the rest of their lives.

And where do the victims go for help? Many go to the AG, only to be turned away because the abuse has been court-sanctioned.

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Elaine Renoire

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