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February 14, 2012

New Mexican Doctors Learn About Protecting Elderly (N.M. USA)

Statistics: 30% Of Elder Abuse Is Financial Exploitation
February 11, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –

With their savings accounts cleared and their livelihoods destroyed, police said New Mexico's elderly have become victims of scams and rip-offs at alarming rates.
And this is the reason why doctors said they are now being trained to not only ask health questions, but financial questions, too.
According to studies, 5 percent of older adults in the U.S. have been victims of financial abuse.
Hundreds of doctors learned how to detect it Saturday, and they said so should family members.
"The population is aging, and all of us who take care of patients are seeing more and more older people (being scammed)," Dr. Alfredo Vigil said.
Doctors said they learned how to detect the red flags in their patients because 30 percent of elder abuse is financial exploitation.
"The (elderly) can't afford to get their medicine. When you ask them about their resources, it seems like they have enough money to buy it. So where is the money going?" Dr. Joseph Ewing said.
According to police, common types of fraud include:
Theft in brokerage accounts
Internet and email investment scams
Power of attorney change
Altering of last will and testament
Property conversion
"If we think there is something serious going on, we are obliged by law to report it to Adult Protective Services to let them do more of a formal investigation," Vigil said.
Doctors said family members should take a stand and report suspect financial abuse because they may be the only safeguard for their loved ones' finances.
Anyone who suspects elder financial abuse can call Adult Protective Services at             800-797-3260      .
Copyright 2012 by KOAT.com


SOURCE:     KOAT


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