From Staff Reports
In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Securities Division spotlights the importance of safeguarding Tennessee’s senior population by keeping a watchful eye for signs of elder financial exploitation and promptly reporting possible abuse to appropriate officials.
Elder financial abuse is rising with the rapid aging of the North American population, due in part to the amount of wealth seniors have accumulated throughout their careers and their increasing isolation, according to a news release from the TDCI.
“Many in our older population are vulnerable due to social isolation and distance from family, caregivers, and other support networks,” TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Securities Frank Borger-Gilligan said. “The days of aging in communities surrounded by generations of family members are fading into the past. We need as many eyes and ears as possible listening and watching for signs of suspected elder financial exploitation.”
To help fight this problem, the Tennessee Securities Division suggests watching for the following warning signs of suspicious behavior that may indicate potential elder financial exploitation:
- Has an elder moved away from existing relationships and toward new associations with other “friends” or strangers?
- Has a new person entered the elder’s life and shown an excessive interest in the elder’s finances or accounts?
- Are you unable to speak directly with the elder despite repeated attempts at contact?
- Does the elder display unexplained excitement over a financial windfall or prize check and reluctance to discuss details?
If these sound familiar, contact the Tennessee Securities Division at 800-863-9117. Other types of elder abuse should be reported to the Tennessee Department of Human Resources Adult Protective Services Unit.
Additional resources are available on the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA) Serve Our Seniors website at serveourseniors.org.
To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to http://verify.tn.gov/.