Kimberly Snow presented about financial exploitation of Maine’s older adults this past summer: once at the Maine Geriatrics Conference in Bar Harbor on June 14th and again at the Vermont FAST Tri-State Conference at the University of Vermont Law School on July 17th. Kim shared the findings from the report "Financial Exploitation of Maine's Older Adults: An Analysis of Maine Adult Protective Services and Legal Services for the Elderly Case Records, 2010-2016." This report, co-authored by Eileen Griffin, Cathy McGuire, and Kim, was commissioned by Maine Legal Services for the Elderly and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Through analyzing case records and extrapolating the findings using under-reporting rates of abuse, the authors estimated that between $74 million and $451 million were lost to financial exploitation in Maine between 2010 and 2016. When older adults lose their personal funds and resources, they often must access public programs, including nutritional assistance like Meals on Wheels, Medicare and Medicaid services, and subsidized housing.
The Vermont FAST (Financial Abuse Specialist Team) asked Kim to present this report at their Tri-State Conference specifically to help encourage investigators, prosecutors, and other advocates who serve older adults victimized by this exploitation to collect similar data in their cases. While Maine Adult Protective Services and Legal Services for the Elderly collect the detailed case, there is a lack of data and information on how many people are impacted by financial exploitation in Vermont and New Hampshire. The hope is that with more data available, advocates could help policymakers understand the magnitude of the problem and encourage more efforts on prevention and intervention.
The article is also posted in Digital Commons.