Financial exploitation of elders is a common type of abuse. Because many older people have savings accounts, fixed income through social security, or own their homes, they become the perfect target for exploitation. Sadly, many elders who are financially exploited experience this abuse at the hands of trusted caregivers or family members. This can make the victim feel heartbroken, embarrassed and ashamed and they may choose not to report the abuse for fear that their loved one will get in trouble. For elders who are financially exploited by strangers, it can be very hard for them to believe that abuse happened to them, or they can feel so embarrassed that they “let” this happen that they don’t report the abuse. Financial exploitation can have devastating impacts on the victim; not only through loss of money, but the victim may experience physical and emotional reactions as well.
If you or someone you know is being financially exploited, it is important to get help before it’s too late and the money is gone. Even if you are uncertain whether abuse is actually occurring, if you suspect something isn’t right, you should call a professional and get help. If the threat of harm is immediate, dial 911.
- If you are not certain that the individual is being abused, but you are concerned about their well-being, contact Adult Protective Services – Office of Aging and Disability Services (Department of Health and Human Services)
Nationwide 24-hour, toll-free: 1-800-624-8404
Provides and arranges for services to protect incapacitated and dependent adults (age 18 and over) in danger of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Visit the website for the Office of Aging and Disability Services to learn more.
- Call your local Area Agency to find out what supports and services are available to help
- Long term care options counseling
- Identifying possible housing
- Assisting in receiving benefits
- Providing family support and meals
- Legal Services for the Elderly
You can help the elder call the LSE Helpline where they can talk to an attorney and receive free legal assistance. Visit www.mainelse.org to learn more about Legal Services for the Elderly.
- Office of Securities - (A part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation)
Maine relay 711 (TTY, 24/7)
The Office of Securities investigates and prosecutes violations of the securities laws. For more information, visit the website for the Maine Office of Securities
- Maine Suicide Prevention Program - Hotline
If you are concerned about yourself or about someone else, call the crisis hotline. If you are not in Maine, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Visit the website for more information on the Maine Suicide Prevention Program.