Stealing money from mum or dad is not just limited to younger people with little or no money, according to Age Concern New Zealand.
This comes after 89-year-old Anthony Marshall, heir to one of America’s original dynasty fortunes, was sent to a New York prison in recent days for looting well over $12 million from his philanthropist mother, Brooke Astor, as her mind deteriorated with Alzheimer’s disease. Astor later died in 2007 at the age of 105.
Age Concern New Zealand chief executive Ann Martin said the case proved financial elder abuse could be caused by people who were already well off, as well as the fact they could be older people themselves.
"Creating awareness that this type of abuse is going on can help prevent it from happening or see it intervened."
Ms Martin said common examples of financial abuse included adult children deciding they were entitled to their inheritance early; or assuming their parents did not need their own house any longer; or taking their older parents money to start a business or for a deposit on a house.
"It often starts simply by having access to their older parent’s Eftpos or credit cards," she said.
"They start off by doing mum's or dad’s shopping and think, ‘well there’s money in the bank and I don’t have that much and they have lots, so I’ll buy something for myself - and it just escalates.
"The thing is for older people to know that abuse is not right and they can get help to stop it. They, or anyone else who suspects financial abuse may be happening, can contact their local Age Concern for information and assistance," Ms Martin said.
Click for Updates, More Cases and Resources
Search LABELS for More Resources