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Protecting our most vulnerable against abuse

Posted 27 August 2018

Victoria Police and State Trustees have teamed up to raise awareness that elder abuse is a form of family violence.

Elder abuse can come in various forms including, physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. Most often, the damage is carried out by someone known and trusted by the victim, such as a family member or a friend.

Financial abuse is the most common form of abuse, at any given time State Trustees is investigating up to 200 cases of alleged financial elder abuse around Victoria.

Actions considered to be financial abuse

  • Spending an older person’s money on things that are not related to them.
  • Emotional intimidation, such as causing the older person to feel guilty or not providing financial support/funds.
  • Stealing of money, property or household goods.
  • Not paying bills on the older person’s behalf when they were told that it would be.
  • Misuse of a victim’s personal checks, bank cards and accounts.
  • Discovering a new name has been added to a bank card.
  • Withholding visits in return for money.

Prevention

 State Trustees recommend the following actions be taken to help prevent financial elder abuse:

  • Appoint an independent Attorney for financial matters or, if appointing family members, select more than one Attorney for financial matters
  • Get independent advice
  • Have an up-to-date Will
  • Make loans legally binding
  • Formally document living arrangements
  • Enduring Power of Attorney for financial matters. If, for whatever reason, a person does not want to entrust this responsibility to their family, they can choose to appoint an independent organisation such as State Trustees as their Attorney for financial matters.
  • Granting State Trustees the power to act as a financial attorney, we help arrange, protect and manage all the financial assets of an older person to ensure their wishes are carried out, so they don’t have to worry about the everyday details of managing their money.

 

Getting help

Victoria Police have Family Violence units that can investigate violence against the person, call triple zero (000).

State Trustees can help protect assets and prevent financial elder abuse. Call 03 9667 6444 or 1300 138 672 for free advice.

Watch the video to learn about warning signs and what do if someone is at risk >> Watch the video

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