Elder abuse, financial exploitation, and inadequate care are pervasive problems for older adults
Sometimes this abuse can be physical, or a case of neglect, and other times the abuse is in the form of financial exploitation or a scam that causes substantial harm.
Abuse and exploitation in all its forms (whether physical, financial, mental or emotional) is more prevalent for persons who have diminished cognitive capacities and impairment such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. For persons with dementia, close to 50% are at risk of and will experience some form of abuse (including financial exploitation).
Abuse and exploitation are perpetrated by a variety of players. Sometimes it is a family member or caretaker who has gained the trust of an unsuspecting victim. Sometimes it is a guardian or other professional who has access to a person’s legal and financial affairs.
Many of the clients Project Guardianship serves come to us after someone noticed that an older adult was in great need or was being abused. Oftentimes, it is another well-meaning family member, landlord, hospital, nursing home, or Adult Protective Services who noticed that something was amiss — and made a petition on behalf of the individual to the guardianship court. Often, the courts will appoint Project Guardianship as guardian for these types of cases, because of the level of care that will be required (and our ability to resolve the issue of the abuse). These cases are often beyond the capacities of other private guardians and agencies.
Elder abuse triggers and/or accelerates a downward spiral of mental and physical debilitation for many victims, eroding their health, financial stability, and well-being.
Many of the clients Project Guardianship serves come to us after someone noticed that an older adult was in great need or was being abused.