The ABA (Australian Banking Association) is calling on governments across Australia to establish new laws to protect people from Elder Financial Abuse, as new research shows that 87% of Australians believe that they can do more at a government level to eradicate this form of abuse.
The ABA launched a campaign to Stop Elder Financial Abuse with the support of Bauer Media to fight against elder financial abuse with a new campaign reporting that 57% of Australians are concerned that someone they know will be the victim of Elder Financial Abuse.
The Stop Elder Financial Abuse campaign, which is backed by a petition, calls on governments across the country to take a stand that would protect people and provide support from this kind of abuse as well as establish a National Power of Attorney (POA) register to confirm if POA documents are legitimate and current and assign a safe place to report elder financial abuse.
According to the ABA, 1 in 10 older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year.
The ABA is now inviting on groups, major organizations, and individuals to take part in addressing this major issue.
There are stories from bank staffs that there have been situations wherein they sometimes attempt to prevent when they see money being drained out from the accounts of the pensioners. They think that something is happening behind those transactions as the money is being used for items that are not in line with the elder’s needs and wants. Their pensions are being used for holiday getaways or expensive jewelry. However, the victim is unwilling or does not take any action to report what is really happening.
Russell Westacott, the CEO of Seniors Rights Service, has expressed his support on the new campaign. He stated that at least 2 to 3 elders every day are a victim of this abuse. Most of them take the blame that they let it happen and are often used by their son, daughter, or grandchild.
The Stop Elder Financial Abuse campaign relies on the work that the ABA has been using to lessen Elder Financial Abuse. This follows the ABA’s update of their Banking Code of Practice to introduce a higher standard of customer care when dealing with individuals and small-business customers.
The Broker and Banking industries have agreed on a standard procedure to identify the signs of financial abuse in a co-borrower arrangement. Started on the 1st day of July, those in the mortgage market are obliged to take extra care with clients who may be vulnerable. It includes age-related impairment, cognitive impairment, elder abuse, family or domestic violence, financial abuse, mental illness, serious illness, and any other personal or financial situation causing significant disadvantage.
While disability, dependence on others, and dementia can represent vulnerability for older people, it is the combination of other factors, such as poor-quality relationships or low social support, that can increase the risk of Elder Financial Abuse.
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