Sunday, October 25, 2020

When it’s Family: Financial Exploitation of Older Adults

Marlene Stum, professor and extension specialist in Family Social Science

Elder family financial exploitation (EFFE) is one of the most prevalent types of elder abuse affecting approximately 1 in 15 older adults and their families. EFFE is when a family member illegally or improperly uses an elder’s funds, property or assets.

Would you recognize exploitation if you saw it in your own family? Do you know what action to take now to help prevent EFFE in your family?

To learn more about EFFE, register now for a free webinar on Thursday, Oct. 22, from noon to 1:00 p.m. Increase your awareness of EFFE and learn to identify critical steps you can take to help prevent and address EFFE. Register at

In this webinar, Marlene Stum, UMN family social science professor and extension specialist, will share research findings, including myths, realities and lessons learned from experiencing EFFE. Stum shares that “the voices and perspectives of family members (other than the direct victim and the perpetrator) are critical to understand the experience, costs and impact of elder family financial exploitation."

Stum continues, "Thanks to concerned family members who have been willing to share their EFFE experiences, my research is examining the meaning and experience of EFFE. We have a rich and unique database providing new insight into the complexities of EFFE. Our research is helping to ensure prevention and intervention strategies are grounded in actual lived experiences."

EFFE can result in immeasurable costs and consequences for elders, their family members and society. The impact goes well beyond the economic losses, impacting physical, mental, emotional, and psychological health and well-being.

“Our long term goal is to help other family members and professionals learn how to prevent and respond to elder family financial exploitation in the future,” she explained.

Marlene Stum has been conducting research-based outreach and engagement on family economics and social gerontology and is a leader in addressing EFFE. Stum’s research and extension education focuses on helping family members tackle critical issues that they normally do not want to address — or even acknowledge —including elder family financial exploitation. She currently leads a research study at UMN examining the meaning and experience of elder family financial exploitation.

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