New Elder Financial Abuse Program Provides Resources for Seniors

Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana announces a new program to help seniors who are victims of elder financial abuse. This new program—Elderly Victim of Financial Abuse Supportive Service—is funded by the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.

“This program provides a resource for the elderly in our community to turn to if they are faced with the life-changing effects of suffering through financial abuse,” says Sherlyn Hughes, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana’s Program Manager. “Especially around the holidays this is an important issue to be on the lookout for.”

The program collaborates with community agencies to improve the lives of Orleans Parish seniors by increasing the awareness of financial abuse and exploitation while also advocating on their behalf to decrease, prevent, or remedy conditions that endanger seniors being impacted by financial abuse.

Financial abuse is defined as taking money or financial security from an elderly friend or family member. The program also examines possible cases of financial exploitation and extortion.

The goal of the program is to ensure that seniors in the Orleans Parish community age with grace and dignity while providing them with the safety and protection they deserve against elder financial abuse and neglect. The Volunteers of America program empowers seniors age 60 and above to avoid and remedy the life-changing effects of suffering through financial abuse later in life.

“It can be hard to understand that a friend or family member could be doing this to a loved one,” adds Hughes. “But if someone is taking money from you or having you sign documents you are not allowed to read this may be something you want to learn more about.”

In the New Orleans community, far too many older adults have been neglected, abused and exploited. Each year, Louisiana reports 7,300 cases of elder abuse through adult protective services. Financial abuse is just one part of those cases but one that can be prevented to help independent seniors remain happy, stress-free and financially secure.

The program offers educational intervention, financial planning, legal service intervention, community resources, intensive case management, and other resources as needed. Participants must be an Orleans Parish resident, 60 years or older, and a victim of financial abuse or exploitation.

“If you think someone you love is experiencing financial abuse, I would encourage you to call and get answers,” says Hughes.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of elder financial abuse, Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana case managers can help conduct an assessment within 24 hours. Case managers can be reached at 504.836.8701.