A just-completed University of Southern Maine report —analyzing more than 650 cases of reported financial exploitation of Maine seniors — found that most victims were women, at least 80 years old and either widowed, single or divorced.
The report, created by USM's Muskie School of Public Service, was commissioned by Legal Services for the Elderly in collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
Authors Eileen Griffin, Catherine McGuire and Kimberly Snow examined reports to Maine's Adult Protective Services and Maine's Legal Services for the Elderly.
"The goal of this study was to capture information about the amount of money Maine's older adults have lost to financial exploitation, along with information about those exploited," they wrote.
In most cases, the exploitation was committed by the victim's child, they found. Money was often taken asf cash, non-payment for nursing care and from bank accounts.