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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Cheryl Tilse and Jill Wilson

Responding to suspected financial abuse in residential aged care provides particular challenges to care managers. This paper aims to explore responses to financial abuse

Abstract

Purpose

Responding to suspected financial abuse in residential aged care provides particular challenges to care managers. This paper aims to explore responses to financial abuse by care managers and the knowledge, policies and principles that guide practice in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is part of a larger project exploring financial asset management and financial abuse in residential aged care in Australia. The thematic analysis reports on responses of care managers in 62 aged care facilities to survey interview questions and case scenarios presenting issues of alleged financial abuse.

Findings

Although most care managers accepted an obligation to act in response to suspected financial abuse, inconsistency and a lack of familiarity with policy are clearly demonstrated. Practice responses vary according to whether the primary focus is on residents, family or managing risk. Despite most reporting policies in place in the event of alleged theft, reports on the use of policies and protocols to guide responses to suspected misuse of an enduring power of attorney or undue influence are limited. The care manager's knowledge and approach to practice are crucial to framing the response.

Originality/value

The research provides insight into inconsistencies in responses to financial abuse in residential aged care, identifies good practice and outlines the limitations in knowledge of some care managers. It argues for the need to enhance understanding, support and training to further develop practice in this setting, particularly in relation to adult protection principles.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Priscilla A. Harries, Miranda L. Davies, Kenneth J. Gilhooly, Mary L.M. Gilhooly and Deborah Cairns

This paper reports on banking and finance professionals' decision making in the context of elder financial abuse. The aim was to identify the case features that influence…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper reports on banking and finance professionals' decision making in the context of elder financial abuse. The aim was to identify the case features that influence when abuse is identified and when action is taken.

Design/methodology/approach

Banking and finance professionals (n=70) were shown 35 financial abuse case scenarios and were asked to judge how certain they were that the older person was being abused and the likelihood of taking action.

Findings

Three case features significantly influenced certainty of financial abuse: the nature of the financial problem presented, the older person's level of mental capacity and who was in charge of the client's money. In cases where the older person was more confused and forgetful, there was increased suspicion that financial abuse was taking place. Finance professionals were less certain that financial abuse was occurring if the older person was in charge of his or her own finances.

Originality/value

The research findings have been used to develop freely available online training resources to promote professionals' decision making capacity (www.elderfinancialabuse.co.uk). The resources have been advocated for use by Building Societies Association as well as CIFAS, the UK's Fraud Prevention Service.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

K. Walsh and G. Bennett

Financial abuse is widely recognised to be an important but under‐reported risk area for vulnerable adults, especially elderly people. This paper provides an introduction…

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Abstract

Financial abuse is widely recognised to be an important but under‐reported risk area for vulnerable adults, especially elderly people. This paper provides an introduction to relevant issues, indicators and remedies. It also highlights areas needing further attention both within the professional council and financial systems such as banking.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2013

Mary L.M. Gilhooly, Deborah Cairns, Miranda Davies, Priscilla Harries, Kenneth J. Gilhooly and Elizabeth Notley

The purpose of this paper is to explore the detection and prevention of elder financial abuse through the lens of a “professional bystander intervention model”. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the detection and prevention of elder financial abuse through the lens of a “professional bystander intervention model”. The authors were interested in the decision cues that raise suspicions of financial abuse, how such abuse comes to the attention of professionals who do not have a statutory responsibility for safeguarding older adults, and the barriers to intervention.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth interviews were conducted using the critical incident technique. Thematic analysis was carried out on transcribed interviews. In total, 20 banking and 20 health professionals were recruited. Participants were asked to discuss real cases which they had dealt with personally.

Findings

The cases described indicated that a variety of cues were used in coming to a decision that financial abuse was very likely taking place. Common to these cases was a discrepancy between what is normal and expected and what is abnormal or unexpected. There was a marked difference in the type of abuse noticed by banking and health professionals, drawing attention to the ways in which context influences the likelihood that financial abuse will be detected. The study revealed that even if professionals suspect abuse, there are barriers which prevent them acting.

Originality/value

The originality of this study lies in its use of the bystander intervention model to study the decision‐making processes of professionals who are not explicitly charged with adult safeguarding. The study was also unique because real cases were under consideration. Hence, what the professionals actually do, rather than what they might do, was under investigation.

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Mark Redmond

The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of both charitable and religious fundraising amongst vulnerable older adults. It is a practice that is hidden and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of both charitable and religious fundraising amongst vulnerable older adults. It is a practice that is hidden and opaque. The circumstances surrounding the death of Olive Clarke in spring 2015, however, suggest that it is a practice that involves “intrusive” and “excessive” practices. Fundraising amongst vulnerable older adults is largely unregulated and independently monitored. This paper argues that ensuring the protection of vulnerable older adults requires substantial change and new accountabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores current approaches to financial abuse and the focus on family and professional carers as the main likely perpetrators. However, using literature from both the USA and Australia, it considers notions of “trust” and professional behaviour, and the way that vulnerable older adults are subject to new forms of abuse as a result of financial technology such as online and telephone banking. It links this with the practices of charitable fundraisers using techniques such as cold calling and direct mail.

Findings

The circumstances surrounding the death of Olive Clarke suggest that charities, and those fundraise for charities appear to engage in a practice whereby they sell the names of likely donors to each other. This practice opens opportunities for abusive relationships to take place. At the same time many clergy operate like the single GP surgeries that allowed Shipman to practice unnoticed and unaccountable. The relationship between clergy and their aging congregation, who are relied upon to raise funds for church activities, open up the opportunity for abuse to take to place. Few records on charitable giving exist that permit regulation and independent scrutiny.

Research limitations/implications

Current research in this area is limited by the focus on family and professional carers as likely perpetrators of financial abuse, and through attention on child sexual abuse in general. There is a lack of research on charitable giving, and the focus tends to be on altruism rather than the practices and motivations of fundraisers themselves. This paper intends to begin an academic debate to the context in which Olive Clarke took her own life.

Practical implications

In the wake of the death of Olive Clarke the Fundraising Standards Board has been tasked with reviewing the way charities raise funds amongst vulnerable older adults. No one has yet used the language of financial abuse, choosing to opt for the terms “excessive” and “intrusive” there is a need to shift this debate and encourage greater regulation and accountability.

Social implications

This paper seeks to explore how some of the organisations that are supposed to protect and care for vulnerable people engage in practices that exploit and abuse. It is timely as debates about charitable giving are beginning to increase, and the role of the church and the religious groups in the abuse of children is being considered by the new independent inquiry in the UK. It has significant implications for accountability, trust and regulation.

Originality/value

The financial abuse of older adults is rarely considered outside of the family – carer nexus. However, changes in the banking and financial systems means that opportunities for abuse are greater than ever before. Prior to the death of Olive Clarke in spring 2015 very little attention on the nature of charitable and religious fundraising amongst older adults has taken place, and consequently this paper is highly original, but equally timely.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 December 2017

Gillian Dalley, Mary Lynn Gilhooly, Kenneth Gilhooly, Michael Levi and Priscilla Harries

The purpose of this paper is to report on the aspects of an exploratory investigation into the scale and nature of the financial abuse of adults lacking mental capacity.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the aspects of an exploratory investigation into the scale and nature of the financial abuse of adults lacking mental capacity.

Design/methodology/approach

It uses mixed-methods study which comprises of: a review of safeguarding adults’ statistics; analysis of court case findings; classification of types of financial abuse, victims and perpetrators; qualitative exploration of professional views of the nature of financial abuse of those lacking mental capacity; and a consideration of policy implications.

Findings

It demonstrates the significance of financial abuse within the spectrum of abuse experienced by adults at risk; the wide range of both victims lacking capacity being abused and type of financial abuse; its often hidden nature embedded within the family; and the limitations of processes designed to protect.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation reveals the paucity of statistical data available on the nature of financial abuse and the outcomes of official investigations into reported cases, both of which limit analysis and understanding of the phenomenon.

Practical implications

It demonstrates the need for greater transparency and consistency in the reporting of safeguarding and legal processes to enable practitioners and policymakers to fully understand the nature and significance of this abuse for both victims and society.

Social implications

It questions the extent to which existing protective processes are sufficient in terms of safeguarding victims and deterring perpetrators.

Originality/value

It involves original research that brings together data from a range of sources involved in the protection of a particular hard-to-reach group of individuals (those lacking capacity) from a particular type of risk (financial abuse) of increasing social significance.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Anne‐Louise McCawley, Cheryl Tilse, Jill Wilson, Linda Rosenman and Deborah Setterlund

This paper draws upon findings from a secondary analysis of suspected financial abuse cases in files of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal in Queensland…

Abstract

This paper draws upon findings from a secondary analysis of suspected financial abuse cases in files of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal in Queensland, Australia. The paper explores the association between formal and semi‐formal asset management arrangements and suspected financial abuse cases. The role of families as formal asset managers is also considered.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Anthony Gilbert, David Stanley, Bridget Penhale and Mary Gilhooly

The purpose of this paper was to undertake a review of selected adult safeguarding policy and guidance documentation to establish the level of guidance provided in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to undertake a review of selected adult safeguarding policy and guidance documentation to establish the level of guidance provided in relation to financial abuse; identify similarities and differences between the guidance given to professionals working in different contexts; and report gaps or inconsistencies in the guidance given.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative documentary content analysis was undertaken to identify key issues and themes in documents selected from 25 local authorities in England.

Findings

Little variation was found in the content of the documents, which were all heavily influenced by “No Secrets” guidance. The victim and perpetrator were largely invisible and there is no reference to the possible medium to long‐term impact of abuse on individuals. There is no research evidence underpinning the use of the notion of “significant harm” when used in the context of adults. In addition, there is no means of comparing safeguarding decisions across different local authorities to evaluate consistency of decisions and outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The lack of any mechanisms to compare safeguarding decisions and outcomes across local authority areas is a serious limitation of the way safeguarding works. Also, the failure to address the aftercare and support of victims means they are left to manage the psycho‐social consequences.

Practical implications

Safeguarding boards should evaluate the outcomes of interventions in a standardised way to enable comparison. They should also do more to ensure the longer‐term wellbeing of victims.

Social implications

The paper raises awareness of elder financial abuse.

Originality/value

This is the only policy review that focuses specifically on financial abuse.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

Owen P. O'Sullivan

Financial abuse can be difficult to detect, and it is deemed to have the same potential to cause distress as other forms of abuse. The delegation of financial affairs…

Abstract

Purpose

Financial abuse can be difficult to detect, and it is deemed to have the same potential to cause distress as other forms of abuse. The delegation of financial affairs brings with it the scope for degrees of exploitation. This study aims to assess the adequacy of the statutory provisions and courts in England and Wales at protecting at risk older people from the harm of financial abuse.

Design/methodology/approach

This review focuses on the enduring power of attorney and the lasting power of attorney provisions. Cases discussed were selected based on their judgments’ significance in relation to these powers, the range of issues illustrated and the extent of associated commentary and attention received in the literature. This piece is presented as a narrative review, and as such, references to case law and associated commentary are non-exhaustive.

Findings

Shortcomings and vulnerabilities are identified and explored with respect to both provisions. These are contrasted and contextualised in view of the broader challenges and complexities associated with preventing financial abuse within society. Key consideration is given to powers of creation, registration, supervision, objection and revocation in addition to the role and powers of both the Office of the Public Guardian and the Court of Protection.

Originality/value

Given these powers of attorney are exercised during a donor’s lifetime, they will directly experience their effects. This review illustrates there remains scope for further reform to introduce new safeguards and bolster existing ones to mitigate the risk of financial exploitation and to support people to plan and safeguard their financial future with increased confidence and security.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Kritika Samsi, Jill Manthorpe and Karishma Chandaria

Financial abuse of people with dementia is of rising concern to family carers, the voluntary sector and professionals. Little is known about preventative and early…

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Abstract

Purpose

Financial abuse of people with dementia is of rising concern to family carers, the voluntary sector and professionals. Little is known about preventative and early response practice among community services staff. The purpose of this paper is to investigate voluntary sector staff's views of the risks of managing money when a person has a dementia and explore ways that individuals may be protected from the risks of financial abuse.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of staff of local Alzheimer's Society groups across England was conducted in 2011 and was completed by 86 respondents. Open-ended responses supplemented survey questions. Statistical analysis and content analysis identified emergent findings.

Findings

Most respondents said their people with dementia experienced problems with money management, with almost half the respondents reporting encountering cases of financial abuse over the past year. Most were alert to warning signs and vulnerabilities and offered suggestions relevant to practice and policy about prevention and risk minimization.

Research limitations/implications

Adult safeguarding practitioners are likely to encounter money management uncertainties and concerns about exploitation of people with dementia. They may be contacted by community-based support staff from the voluntary sector about individual queries but could ensure that such practitioners are engaged in local training and networking activities to promote their skills and confidence.

Practical implications

As with other forms of elder abuse, professionals need to be aware of risks of financial abuse and be able to suggest effective yet acceptable preventive measures and ways to reduce risks of harm and loss. Further publicity about adult safeguarding services may be needed among local community support services.

Originality/value

There have been few studies investigating the views of people working with people with dementia in the community about adult safeguarding.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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