The government has been criticised for failing to tighten systems to tackle the financial abuse of older people, in a report showing they are losing millions of pounds.
Action on Elder Abuse estimated that almost 500 cases of theft, deception and coercion reported to the charity last year cost older people almost £8m in income and assets, with sons or daughters responsible in more than half of cases.
The charity said the government should have acted on two key proposals on financial abuse in the Commons’ health select committee’s 2004 report into elder abuse, and called on ministers to revisit them. They were, firstly that adult protection committees should have as a policy area preventing and detecting financial abuse, and, secondly, health and social care regulators should increase their focus on financial issues, such as powers of attorney.
Chief executive Gary FitzGerald said: “We are three years on from the health committee inquiry and the government’s response has been very blasé.”