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Report on States' Adult Protective Services Responses to Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults


National Association of Adult Protective Services Administrators (NAAPSA) for the National Center on Elder Abuse

July 2003

Introduction
A decade ago, the New York Times ran a front-page article on financial abuse of the
elderly. In the article, exploitation of the elderly was called “the crime of the 90s”.
Unfortunately, although the 90's have come and gone, the problem continues to grow. A
study of 39 states conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse in 1994 showed
that there were 29,643 reports of financial/material exploitation of the elderly in domestic
settings made to state Adult Protective Services (APS) programs that year. In a new
survey conducted by the National Association of Adult Protective Services
Administrators (NAAPSA) in 2001, 28 states reported receiving a total of 38,015 reports
of financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable younger adults during their most recent
reporting year.

The number of reports of financial exploitation has led to increased attention to the
problem at the state and federal level. Some examples of state initiatives include State
Attorneys General in Massachusetts and Oregon who developed training for financial
institutions in an effort to gain their cooperation in reporting and preventing financial
exploitation of older persons. And in Colorado, Attorney General Ken Salazar initiated
“AARP Senior Watch” in order to combat the financial exploitation of the elderly.
At the federal level, a national symposium led by the U.S. Department of Justice and the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was held in the fall of 2000. This
conference highlighted a number of innovative approaches to financial exploitation and
prosecution being carried out by various states. Recently, pursuant to the Older
Americans Act, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has
convened a group of federal agencies and concerned stakeholders to design a study of
financial exploitation.

In preparation for the HHS study, and as part of its commitment to conduct a Baseline
Study of States’ Adult Protective Services Programs, NAAPSA, a partner in the National
Center on Elder Abuse, completed this survey of states’ APS programs to determine
their current responses to cases of financial exploitation of elder and disabled adults.

For the compete report go to: http://www.napsa-now.org/

Page Last Modified: February 3, 2016