Judith B. Paul Law Blog

Monday, August 21, 2017


There seems to be a disproportionate number of elderly people who are victims of scams and abuse.  Whether it is a matter of convincing a homeowner to take out a large home-equity loan with a high rate of interest and other built-in charges that are mostly unnecessary, or convincing an elderly person to let a "friend" or "neighbor" help them with their finances by adding that person to the elders bank account or to allowing someone to live with them (rent free) to help with the home chores, it is more common today than we have seen in the past.

Possibly due to our transitional society where a parent lives in Florida and the children are scattered around the country   and there are no family members to help oversee the safety and care of the elder.  It could be due to the elders having no family left or that their contemporaries are mostly in the same situation that they are and depend on each other for support and knowledge.  It could be that the elderly still believe that they can take care of themselves, make their own decisions and don't want any help, and consequently sign papers they should not, allow situations to get out of control and are then too embarrassed to tell anyone about it to rectify the situation.

If the elder has been taken advantage of by a family member, a more frequent occurrence than not, the elder almost always refuses to take any legal action against the individual and allows the problem to continue.  Sometimes the person uses threats of leaving them if they don't do something, or not liking them anymore, or not being their friend, and when that works and the elder gives in to the demands, the perpetrator becomes embolden to demand more and more, until ultimately the elder has nothing left.  

If you think a neighbor, friend or relative is being taken advantage of, please contact elder services, the elder abuse hotline, to file a concern. Call Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). Press 1 to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of the elderly. 

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