Financial abuse happens when someone takes or misuses your money, assets or property without you agreeing.
Financial abuse is a type of elder abuse. It can happen to an older person with other types of abuse such as social abuse.
Financial abuse can often make an older person feel like they no longer have control over their finances or assets and increase anxiety and stress. It can happen to any older person. Financial abuse can range from minor incidents (such as borrowing small amounts of money and not repaying the loan) through to extreme incidents (misusing the Financial Enduring Power of Attorney).
Regardless, the impact can be significant for an older person and can impact on their lifestyle, leisure and the necessities of life, such as food and housing.
Frequently an older person might rely on family and relatives to assist them with their finances or assets. In these circumstances, an older person can be more vulnerable to abuse if they’re not included in the decisions about their finances.
There are many ways that a perpetrator can be financially abusive to an older person:
All of these take control away from the older person.
Financial counselling is a free, confidential and independent service. Financial counsellors provide information, support, advocacy and advice to people experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship. The National Debt Helpline is a telephone financial counselling service open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. The financial counsellors at the National Debt Helpline can put you in contact with your local financial counselling service.