Sunday, February 8, 2015

Congress Seeks to Head Off Exploitation of Elderly

The case headed for a Southeast Missouri courtroom today involves a public official, and that makes it unusual. The nature of the case, however, has become increasingly typical.

The coroner of Perry County stands accused of theft and financial exploitation of the elderly. The allegation involves a woman in her 90s and at least $80,000 taken from her bank account.

Missouri’s legislature has acted in recent years to strengthen state laws against those taking financial advantage of older citizens. And Congress turned its attention to the problem with a hearing this week.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Special Committee on Aging, which heard testimony on Wednesday about financial exploitation of the elderly. She said later that an upsurge in the crime seemed likely.

“We do believe, because of the baby boomer generation, that there is going to be not a diminishment of this but, in fact, an increase,” she said in a conference call with reporters.

Demographic trends point to an aging population. In Missouri, according to the state’s Office of Administration, residents 65 and older made up 13 percent of the population in 2000. This will rise to an estimated 21 percent by 2030, with roughly 176,000 people in the 85-and-older category in that year.


Barbara said...

Abuse by professionals is growing. Yet, everyone is focused on the family abuser.

Karen said...

How many cases have we heard of involving the public guardian? Or public administrators?

I'm glad to see the specific wording of this article that public officials are involved in elder abuse.