Financial Exploitation Training
The 2016 Virginia General Assembly requested that the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) do a cost analysis of financial exploitation using Adult Protective Services records. According to the 2016 report, more than 1,000 adults are known to be financially exploited in Virginia each year. Financial exploitation cost vulnerable Virginians at least $28.2 million in 2015. In nearly 60 percent of the cases reviewed in the study, a family member carried out the exploitation. But it is widely believed financial exploitation is underreported. One study estimates only 1 in 44 cases nationally of such abuse is reported.
What True Link Financial called the explosion of elder financial abuse totaled more than $36.48 billion nationally. The study revealed startling statistics: “Approximately 36.9% of seniors are affected by financial abuse in any five-year period.” True Link Report January 2015 Elder Financial Abuse breaks down the problem into the following categories:
$16.99 billion is lost annually to financial exploitation,defined as when misleading or confusing language is used—often combined with social pressure and tactics that take advantage of cognitive decline and memory loss—to obtain an older adult’s consent to take his or her money.
$12.76 billion is lost annually to explicitly illegal activity, such as the grandparent scam, the Nigerian prince scam, or identity theft.
$6.67 billion is lost annually to deceit or theft enabled by a trusting relationship—typically a family member but sometimes a paid helper, friend, lawyer, accountant or financial manager.
Unsurprisingly, memory loss is significantly associated with financial loss—both in likelihood of occurrence and in the amount lost. People with a below-average memory are 78% more likely to suffer financial abuse and lost over twice as much. Likewise, cognitive conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increase vulnerability.”(True Link Report, p. 19.) An increasingly common description of elder financial abuse is the “Crime of the 21st Century” beginning in 2011 with the Metlife study.
Virginia’s 2015 – 2019 Dementia State Plan authored by the Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission, outlines strategies for addressing the issue of financial exploitation in the Commonwealth. Goal three of the plan calls for the creation of training and includes the objective to “provide dementia specific training to professional first responders (police, fire, EMS and search & rescue personnel), financial services personnel, and the legal profession,” identifying financial exploitation as an essential topic. (Commonwealth of Virginia’s Dementia State Plan 2015-2019, p. 22.)
Recognizing the need for protection of vulnerable adults, especially those with cognitive impairment, Chris Desimone, a lawyer and a member of the Virginia Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission, organized a panel of experts that included a geriatrician and Virginia State Police Officer to raise public awareness of the “Crime of the 21 st Century” at the Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging on May 22, 2017.
This training on financial exploitation is for financial institutions and fiduciaries, court officers, law enforcement, consumer protection advocates and human services workers. The three individual presentations can be viewed together or in individual modules: geriatrician (Oberlander), lawyer (Desimone), or state police officer (Drees-Armstrong). The final module is a case study involving an actual case presented by all three.
To access these modules with closed captioning please click here to be redirected to the DARS YouTube channel.
ARTS IN ELDERCARE
Music & Movement for Elders with Dementia – a Tidewater Arts Outreach workshop A workshop for artists and caregivers, presented by Tidewater Arts Outreach. This video was made possible, in part, by Geriatric Training and Education (GTE) funds appropriated by the General Assembly of Virginia and administered by the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University. Additional funding was provided by Thistle Foundation, The Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission and the Virginia Commission for the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts. Facilitators are Sonya S. Barsness, Gerontologist, SBC Consulting and Michelle Martin Nielsen, PT. Filmed at Bay Lakes Retirement & Assisted Living, Virginia Beach, VA by Jpixx; video produced by Jpixx.
Singing for Elder Health & Wellness – a Tidewater Arts Outreach workshop Presented by Tidewater Arts Outreach. This program was made possible, in part, by Geriatric Training and Education (GTE) funds appropriated by the General Assembly of Virginia and administered by the Virginia Center on Aging at Virginia Commonwealth University. Additional funding was provided by Thistle Foundation, The Virginia Commission for the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts. Facilitators are Sonya S. Barsness, Gerontologist, SBC Consulting and Dr. Linda Teasley, DMA, MT-BC. Filmed at Riverside PACE Program, Newport News, VA by Jpixx; video produced by Jpixx.
As part of an ongoing Administration for Community Living (ACL) grant for the Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program (ADSSP), the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is expanding and standardizing dementia knowledge within the No Wrong Door (NWD) network. Training has been developed and is available for Options Counselors (OC), Information and Referral Specialists (I&R), and Care Transitions Coaches. DARS invites local Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, and their NWD partners to complete the training in order to enhance Virginia’s Dementia-Capability. Each completer will be issued a certificate on Dementia-Capability and once an entire agency’s I&R, OC, or Care Transitions Coach staff complete the training, DARS will issue an agency-wide certificate.
Any questions on this initiative should be directed to George Worthington, Dementia Services Coordinator at DARS, on (804) 662-9154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the training and learn more, please click here.