Action needed over financial abuse of elderly, says charity
Stronger action is needed to protect older people who are at risk of financial abuse, according to Age UK.
The charity said an estimated 130,000 older people across the United Kingdom have suffered some form of financial abuse from someone known to them since turning 65 - and those with dementia or reduced cognitive function are particularly vulnerable.
It wants health and social services and the financial sectors to work more closely together to firstly recognise the signs of financial abuse and then report them.
Age UK said generally, financial abuse means taking advantage of a position of trust such as a friendship or a family relationship to steal from a victim.
It said women are particularly likely to suffer financial abuse and even the loss of a small amount can be catastrophic, particularly for those living on low incomes.
Age UK said that with around 300,000 older people dependent on others for help with financial transactions, there is a need for improved staff training to recognise the tell-tale signs of financial abuse and to help older customers.
It said disability and cognitive decline are factors that increase the risk of financial abuse.