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What is an elder fraud prevention and response network?

A network brings together key stakeholders and resources to prevent, detect, and respond to elder financial exploitation in the community.

We did research to understand existing networks and how they can enhance collaborative efforts to fight elder financial exploitation. Generally, networks can help:

  • Increase coordination and improve collaboration among responders, service providers, and other relevant stakeholders
  • Improve the prevention, detection, reporting of, and response to elder financial exploitation
  • Fight financial exploitation through community education, professional training, and case review
  • Serve as the catalyst for new networks to ensure statewide coverage

Examples of network goals and action steps

Networks vary from community to community, but often prioritize similar goals to protect older adults.

Case review and resolution

  • Implement a confidentiality protocol for network members to use during case review
  • Establish working relationships among Adult Protective Services, social workers, and law enforcement to improve cross-reporting and co-investigation of cases
  • Advocate for the assignment of a deputy district attorney to review all elder fraud and abuse cases submitted by local law enforcement

Community education and outreach

  • Develop and implement fraud prevention education for seniors and caregivers
  • Distribute educational materials to senior centers, senior living communities, financial institutions, medical offices, libraries, and other locations
  • Develop public service announcements

Local or regional protocols and response

  • Implement confidentiality protocols to use during case review
  • Develop a list of community resources and key contacts for issues related to elder financial exploitation
  • Create a flow chart illustrating how elder financial exploitation cases enter the response system, each responder’s role in the process, and the path of case resolution
  • Develop a list of laws relevant to Adult Protective Services, law enforcement, financial institutions, and other network partners

Policy development

  • Encourage community leaders to prioritize the issue of elder financial exploitation
  • Support state funding for agencies addressing elder financial exploitation
  • Advocate for the creation of safe, accessible shelters for older adults experiencing domestic violence

Cross-training

  • Develop role-specific training for financial institutions, attorneys, healthcare professionals, social services providers, and law enforcement
  • Create a referral guide of network members that includes each member’s organization and its role
  • Secure funding to create a day-long interdisciplinary training
  • Encourage the banker’s association to provide ongoing training for financial professionals
  • Host an annual conference to share promising practices, case studies, and innovation
  • Develop a common understanding of how different disciplines define “capacity”