Financial Abuse of Older and Dependent Adults in San Diego County

This study examines financial abuse of older and dependent adults through an agency based project conducted for Adult Protective Services (APS) of San Diego County. Related research literature was combined with data of 100 randomly selected existing APS agency case files of financial abuse which were systematically analyzed and categorized. Data such as types of financial abuse, reporting entities, and amounts lost, as well as unidentifiable demographics for abusers and victims was reported in the findings. The most common type of financial abuse was bank account withdrawal/check fraud/cash (37%). The majority of victims were Caucasian females (55%), and a substantial amount of the abuse was committed by family members (39%). The median dollar amount lost within this sample was $4,522.50. The evaluation of this data allows for the creation of policies and procedures that will allow more effective financial abuse prevention, education, and intervention as a growing number of Americans become older adults.