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March 30, 2011

Non-English Speaking Australians at Higher Risk of Financial Elder Abuse, According to Study (AUSTRALIA)



29 March, 2011
 
New research reveals non-English speaking Australians are at higher risk of financial elder abuse due to their dependency on others for translation, transactions and services relating to the management of their finances. 
Diversity and financial elder abuse in Victoria is the fourth report of the Protecting Elders
Assets Study (PEAS) on financial elder abuse undertaken by Monash University and commissioned by State Trustees. 
Data was drawn from 76 survey respondents aged 65 – 100 who were surveyed on their
current and planned financial management strategies. Sixty two respondents were from nonEnglish speaking backgrounds, including Greek, Italian and Vietnamese cultures.
 
“The study found that non-English speaking participants, in particular the Italian and Vietnamese groups, relied heavily on their English-speaking children to manage their day-today financial affairs. These tasks include renting property, paying bills and engaging with
institutions such as banks, real estate agents and government departments on behalf of their parents,” State Trustees’ Managing Director Tony Fitzgerald, said.

“As was observed in previous studies with English-speaking participants, participants in this study were aware of instances of financial elder abuse, however believed it would be unlikely to happen to them. Sadly this commonly held belief among older Australians directly conflicts with past findings which suggest family members, in particular children, are the most common
perpetrators of financial elder abuse,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
 
The study also found that non-English speaking respondents were less likely to have prepared personal financial and legal documents, such as an Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial); a document that gives an individual or organisation the power to make financial and legal decisions on another person’s behalf should they become incapacitated. 

“Many older people from non-English speaking backgrounds avoid preparing an EPA because
they trust their family will know what to do in the event they lose capacity. However, they often
fail to fully appreciate the complexity of such a responsibility and the heavy burden it places on
their loved ones,” Mr Fitzgerald said.  
Mr Fitzgerald encourages older Australians to thoroughly explore their financial and legal options before making any firm decisions about the future management of their financial affairs. 

“In many cases older people are simply unaware about what services and products are available to them. If they choose to, individuals can outsource the future management of their financial affairs to a professional, helping to circumvent potential family conflict and financial mismanagement,” Mr Fitzgerald said.  














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Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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