PROTECTION OF THE ELDERLY
In late 2007, after 3 major surgeries, Ranna's own mother was swindled out of home and belongings by a "carer" and put out in the street in the rain and during an oncoming cyclone. That emergency precipitated a fast learning process in issues of "Elder Abuse" and "Elder Financial Abuse". The following provides links to anyone whose family or friends find themselves needing to protect their elederly loved ones from predations:
For information about Elder Abuse, Financial Exploitation of the elderly, or if you are concerned that an elderly loved one is being mistreated, regardless of whether in a family context or in an institutional or care-based setting, please follow these links below - each link opens a new window:
Australia: Elder Abuse Protection Unit. A community based organization in Queesland, Australia. Definitions of the various forms of elder abuse - financial, emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, and neglect.
Australia: Media release from the Office of the Public Trustee (Queensland, Australia) regarding financial abuse of the elderly. The release states that "This type of abuse frequently results in an elderly person’s assets, such as their bank accounts or house being stolen. The effects can be devastating because they may lose financial capacity to meet the cost of their care... Frighteningly, the research shows it is family or friends, entrusted with an elderly person’s financial affairs, who take advantage of this trust to steal assets for their own financial gain. It is common for the perpetrator to claim that the financial abuse was just a form of early inheritance..." (Peter Carne, Office of the Public Trustee, Queensland, 15 October, 2009.)
Center On Elder Abuse . Has definitions of the various
forms of elder abuse - financial, emotional, psychological,
physical, sexual, and neglect. Government organization.
Has a Help Hotline.
OTHER: From the public record - recent equity lawsuits involving aggrieved elderly plaintiffs:
Advances in legislation are underway in many countries. Canada recently (March 2012) passed laws protecting the elderly. There is no legislation in Australia specifically addressing Elder Dinancial Exploitation or Abuse. Regardless of the absence or existence of legislation, Elder Abuse is clearly defined by the social welfare professions and by the World Health Organization. In Australia, for example, legal cases which those professions or any reasonable person would identify as fitting the definitions of elder financial exploitation or abuse are typically framed in terms of equity. Each of the following Australian cases involved disputes of property between an elderly person and an adult child or friends/ carers of the elderly person.
Plaintiff arguments were based on equity and contended resulting trust and/ or constructive trust, and defence arguments contended gift or early inheritance.
The cases below are cited here following the model of a recent article, "Equitable Remedies for Elder Financial Abuse In Inter-Vivos Transactions" (Cockburn, T. & Hamilton, B, in The Queensland Lawyer, 2011, 31(2) ) identifying issues of the use of living elderly people's assets by an adult child or friends, and citing cases which did not specifically state that elder abuse was at issue.
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