There is a problem of financial abuse of elders and we’re finally talking about it!
By Steve Moran
Senior living is this complex living creature that is a curious melding of a bunch of different providers that come to this noble calling of “serving seniors”. We as individuals and organizations come from very different roots and perspectives. One result of that is we have an unusually large number of associations that are focused on advancing their perspective or segment of senior living.
Mostly they are in agreement in principle but for a variety of reasons (some healthy and maybe a few not quite so healthy), there are differences, disagreements and worst of all, duplicative efforts. But sometimes they all come together to do something really cool. This is one of those times.
Brad Razook is Managing Director and Co-founder, CSCA Capital Advisors and NIC Board Chair. CSCA Capital Advisors is a member of FINRA, which stands for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA is a non-governmental organization that was authorized by Congress to focus on ensuring the integrity of the financial markets with respect to broker-dealers. They are seeing more and more elder fraud and would like to do what they can to protect seniors. Upon reading about FINRAs initiative to raise investor awareness about fraud targeting seniors, Brad invited members of FINRAs investor education group to attend the 2017 NIC conference, to see if the industry might be able to get involved in the education process.
Just to be clear, we are not talking about fraud by senior living communities against elders — because that is a very rare occurrence — but fraud by scamsters and sometimes, unfortunately, by family members.
The goal was to make sure senior living organizations and specifically executive directors have the tools they need to help residents and family members when they see or suspect fraud.
Brad took the idea to the rest of NIC’s leadership who then reached out to LeadingAge, ASHA and Argentum leadership. They agreed to support FINRA in sending a letter to the executive directors of nearly 8,000 senior living communities that talked about the problem of financial abuse of elders and, more importantly, provides high-quality practical resources that communities can provide their residents and families.
The letter will go in the mail this week (week of August 21, 2017) and so you should be seeing it in the next few days, but if you want to take an early peak it is embedded below.
I am looking forward to seeing more of these joint initiatives because they will make the whole industry better and serve seniors better.