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November 8, 2011

Financial Abuse is 'Not Okay' (NEW ZEALAND)

Financial Abuse is ‘Not Okay’
7 November 2011
Press Release: Age Concern

November 7, 2011

It’s your money, and you have the right to spend it your way, says Age Concern New Zealand’s Chief Executive Ann Martin.
This follows the release of a review on the financial abuse of older people in New Zealand authored by Judith A Davey of the Institute of Policy Studies and Age Concern New Zealand’s Jayne McKendry.
Among other strategies the review calls for a campaign similar to the ‘It’s Not Okay’ campaign against family violence but aimed at combating ageism and promoting respect for older people.
Age Concern New Zealand’s expert in Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Jayne McKendry, says she hopes it will prompt people in the private sector, Government and NGOs to take action.
“No single response will be sufficient to tackle this complex issue, we all have a responsibility to work together to stop financial abuse.”
McKendry describes financial abuse as the illegal or improper use of an older person’s money or property, usually by a relative or other person in a position of trust.
“Financial abuse can deprive older people of their life savings and assets. Older people who have been financially abused have few opportunities to recoup these losses.
“They may face longstanding poverty and ill health. Financial abuse damages family relationships. It causes great distress to older people.”
The paper notes a good way for older people to protect themselves is to establish an Enduring Power of Attorney. An Enduring Power of Attorney manages a person’s finances, should they become unable to do so.
As an added safeguard, this person can be held accountable by reporting to a third party.
McKendry hopes the paper will serve as an additional push for service providers such as banks, healthcare providers, or police to learn more about financial abuse and how they can help people being abused.
The paper can be viewed by visiting Age Concern New Zealand’s website: www.ageconcern.org.nz


SOURCE:    Scoop.co.nz
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