Protecting seniors from financial exploitation

Via The Sault News

By Scott Brand

Addressing what some call “The Crime of the 21st Century” Dr. Peter Lichtenberg of Wayne State University delivered an eye-opening presentation on the prevalence of financial exploitation in older adults.

And the statistics reveal that it is growing at a rapid rate. In 2013, there were on average 1,300 suspicious activity reports a month, a figure that jumped to 5,700 a month in 2017 with an estimated loss of $1.7 billion in that year alone.

“I just saw that millennials are getting scammed at a higher rate than older adults,” said Lichtenberg noting we are all vulnerable, “but the big losses, where you are scammed repeatedly are older adults.”

Lichtenberg explained that cognitive impairment and probable Alzheimer’s Disease will affect nearly one out of every five individuals by the time they reach their 80th birthday. That figure jumps to nearly 40 percent by the age of 90.

Referring to the insidious onset of the decline Lichtenberg said it often can be hidden. With cognitive aging folks can continue to retain facts, vocabulary and procedural knowledge without showing any signs in those areas, while at the same time losing reaction speed, memory and the ability to problem solve and plan.

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