Older People, Financial Assets and Abuse: Developing policy and practice responses from research Cheryl Tilse Advocare  Pe...
The Team <ul><li>Multi-disciplinary research team:   </li></ul><ul><li>social work, economics, finance, law & social polic...
Research Partners <ul><li>Partners:  Australian Research Council; Queensland Government – Public Trustee, Guardianship Tri...
Outline <ul><li>Brief overview of research program </li></ul><ul><li>Key findings from our research on asset management an...
A: Research Program 2000-06 <ul><li>Asset Management </li></ul><ul><li>National survey: n = 3,466. </li></ul><ul><li>In-de...
Financial abuse in context <ul><li>Differs from other forms of elder abuse - responses should be specific to this form of ...
Financial abuse definition <ul><li>Illegal or improper use and/or mismanagement of a person’s money, property or resources...
Asset Management Focus <ul><li>Asset management involves some control over organising, decision-making and use of assets -...
B: Findings: Asset Management (AM) Practices <ul><li>Managing assets is a common task of carers - one in four Australians ...
AM practices vary <ul><li>Complexity of tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms used to manage  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal ...
Asset Management Tasks 11 Managing investments 16 Accessing financial advice 31 Property management 37 Managing pension/su...
Mechanisms Used to Manage Assets 49.7 Paying own money 17 Signing cheques and withdrawals 10.5 Electronic banking 9.8 ATM ...
AM practices <ul><li>A range of risky practices for both asset managers and carers  </li></ul><ul><li>Poor accountability ...
AM findings <ul><li>A range of views  on what constitutes convenient and appropriate practice </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of ...
Findings: Financial abuse <ul><li>The context in which assets are managed or access to assets enabled.  </li></ul><ul><li>...
Responses to financial abuse <ul><li>Consider </li></ul><ul><li>Detection and reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention and...
Reporting financial abuse <ul><li>Most common - aged care workers, social workers, ACAT teams, family members. </li></ul><...
Identification – what are the signs? <ul><li>Lack of assets  to pay for care/services or failure to pay bills. </li></ul><...
Interventions: complex area of practice  <ul><li>Actions:  </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor - put in community care services, inv...
Findings - summary   <ul><li>Complex balance  </li></ul><ul><li>to enhance monitoring, protection and prevention,  </li></...
C: Policy and Practice Implications <ul><li>Multi-level responses: individual, family, social, cultural and service delive...
D: Redcliffe Community Demonstration project
One Year Plan <ul><li>Community awareness and education - issues and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-organizational...
Redcliffe Project – Education and support <ul><li>Older people – workshops and information sessions - building confidence ...
Workshops with carers and older people
System Responses <ul><li>Improving referral networks, agency protocols and cross-sectoral responses –Focus groups, survey ...
Working with networks
Policy/Legal/Financial  Responses <ul><li>Improve the safeguards in current legal mechanisms such as Enduring Powers of At...
Conclusion <ul><li>Complex issue requiring a range of responses that address prevention as well as intervention.  </li></u...
Key References <ul><li>Tilse, et al (2007) Managing the Financial Assets of Older People: Balancing independence and prote...
References <ul><li>Tilse, et al. (2005) Older People’s Assets: A Contested Site.  Australasian Journal on Ageing  24(Suppl...
<ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Cheryl Tilse </li></ul><ul><li>School of Social Work & Applied Human Sciences </li></ul...
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  • Assistance can be provided from a distance Can require complex knowledge and skills Operates in the context of cultural values around money in families; competing interests; and a legal/financial framework rather than a social/ health framework
  • Some are beyond public scrutiny – most of what we know about financial abuse is from reports from service providers/practitioners. Poor data from which to make gerenalisations Different aspects will be seen by different people Need to engage a range of organisations and practitioners
  • Issue of workers in rural areas. Where is independent advice
  • Cheryl Tilse Powerpoint (PPT 5.7Mb)

    1. 1. Older People, Financial Assets and Abuse: Developing policy and practice responses from research Cheryl Tilse Advocare Perth, June 2007
    2. 2. The Team <ul><li>Multi-disciplinary research team: </li></ul><ul><li>social work, economics, finance, law & social policy, community development </li></ul><ul><li>Professor Jill Wilson, Dr Cheryl Tilse, Professor Linda Rosenman </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Deborah Setterlund, Dr David Morrison, Anne-Louise McCawley </li></ul><ul><li>Jennie Peut and Leona Berrie in the community demonstration project </li></ul>
    3. 3. Research Partners <ul><li>Partners: Australian Research Council; Queensland Government – Public Trustee, Guardianship Tribunal, Adult Guardian, Public Advocate and Office for Seniors; Queensland Law Society; & Aged Care Providers, Wicking trust </li></ul><ul><li>Community partners: local banks, aged care providers, care workers, older people’s organisations & carer organisations, city council, police </li></ul>
    4. 4. Outline <ul><li>Brief overview of research program </li></ul><ul><li>Key findings from our research on asset management and financial abuse. </li></ul><ul><li>Implications for building knowledge for policy, practice and communities about financial abuse of older people. </li></ul><ul><li>An example – Redcliffe Community demonstration Project </li></ul>
    5. 5. A: Research Program 2000-06 <ul><li>Asset Management </li></ul><ul><li>National survey: n = 3,466. </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth studies of 81 asset managers and 34 older people having their assets managed. </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth study of practitioners’ decision-making and action in relation to financial abuse: n = 20. </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of GAAT data – patterns of financial abuse for older people with impaired capacity: n = 234. </li></ul><ul><li>State survey of aged care workers: n = 159. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Financial abuse in context <ul><li>Differs from other forms of elder abuse - responses should be specific to this form of abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Differs from fraud targeting older people – occurs in a relationship of trust </li></ul><ul><li>Is embedded in a family, social and cultural context that includes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>everyday activities of managing money in families and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social attitudes and cultural values relating to older people, their assets, self provision and paying for care, intergenerational transfers and inheritances </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Financial abuse definition <ul><li>Illegal or improper use and/or mismanagement of a person’s money, property or resources in a relationship of trust. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes: deliberate abuse, undue influence, misuse of EPAs, withholding of funds, failure to repay loans or recognise financial contributions, using possessions without permission. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Asset Management Focus <ul><li>Asset management involves some control over organising, decision-making and use of assets - income and capital assets. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes: day-to-day management of finances, management of investments and property to ensure long-term financial security, management or dispersal of major assets (e.g. home). </li></ul><ul><li>Interest is in non-professional asset managers - family, friends and neighbours. </li></ul>
    9. 9. B: Findings: Asset Management (AM) Practices <ul><li>Managing assets is a common task of carers - one in four Australians had helped an older person with their assets in the past year (2002). </li></ul><ul><li>Most commonly adult children assisting parents and parents-in-law for reasons of lack of confidence, disability, poor health and cognitive incapacity. </li></ul>
    10. 10. AM practices vary <ul><li>Complexity of tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms used to manage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal (using ATMs etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Semiformal (bank arrangements) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal (EPA, administration) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Degree of involvement of older person – and the fit with OP’s expectations </li></ul>
    11. 11. Asset Management Tasks 11 Managing investments 16 Accessing financial advice 31 Property management 37 Managing pension/superannuation 42 Accessing money / banking 54.5 Paying bills 72.5 Paperwork % receiving help with tasks Tasks n = 1,259
    12. 12. Mechanisms Used to Manage Assets 49.7 Paying own money 17 Signing cheques and withdrawals 10.5 Electronic banking 9.8 ATM pin number Informal 18.7 Banking arrangement Semi-formal 1.4 Guardianship 15.4 Enduring Power of Attorney Formal % Mechanisms: n = 1,259
    13. 13. AM practices <ul><li>A range of risky practices for both asset managers and carers </li></ul><ul><li>Poor accountability processes, limited knowledge of responsibilities, decisions based on trust, co-mingling of finances </li></ul><ul><li>Underpinning attitudes of entitlement to assets and expectations of intergenerational transfers </li></ul>
    14. 14. AM findings <ul><li>A range of views on what constitutes convenient and appropriate practice </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of trust in families, convenience for carers and empowerment for older people. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited knowledge/mismanagement as well as intentional financial abuse. Also identified safe practices. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Findings: Financial abuse <ul><li>The context in which assets are managed or access to assets enabled. </li></ul><ul><li>Types of access (formal, informal etc) and practices associated with this. </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes held - cultural, social and familial- that underpin practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence/presence of a capable guardian of the assets. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Responses to financial abuse <ul><li>Consider </li></ul><ul><li>Detection and reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention and prevention </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive as well as reactive responses </li></ul>
    17. 17. Reporting financial abuse <ul><li>Most common - aged care workers, social workers, ACAT teams, family members. </li></ul><ul><li>Rarely financial institutions, lawyers and accountants. </li></ul><ul><li>Adult protection services such as Guardian, Public Trustee, Tribunals become involved when most of the assets have been lost. </li></ul><ul><li>Key issue then is early detection and response. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Identification – what are the signs? <ul><li>Lack of assets to pay for care/services or failure to pay bills. </li></ul><ul><li>Unusual activity in bank accounts (large withdrawals). </li></ul><ul><li>Use or removal of older person’s assets (e.g., car and home) without evidence of compensation or agreement – granny flats </li></ul><ul><li>Loans/gifts to family members without records. </li></ul><ul><li>Undue influence/pressure to gain EPA, change will, go guarantor, gift monies or property. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Interventions: complex area of practice <ul><li>Actions: </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor - put in community care services, involve other family members, casework with older person or abuser if amenable. </li></ul><ul><li>Referral to legal services or advocacy services (if any). </li></ul><ul><li>Referral to Guardian or GAAT to investigate or change financial administration arrangements. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited options, concerns about impact on older person and on client/worker access. </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns about privacy legislation, duty of care and legal/financial knowledge </li></ul>
    20. 20. Findings - summary <ul><li>Complex balance </li></ul><ul><li>to enhance monitoring, protection and prevention, </li></ul><ul><li>facilitate independence/autonomy of older people and </li></ul><ul><li>support family involvement. </li></ul><ul><li>Current systems have limited preventative focus, limited training and few early alerts </li></ul><ul><li>EPAs do not protect from abuse </li></ul>
    21. 21. C: Policy and Practice Implications <ul><li>Multi-level responses: individual, family, social, cultural and service delivery/legal/financial systems. </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-strategy responses: education, support, advocacy and improved systemic responses. </li></ul><ul><li>Whole of community response </li></ul>
    22. 22. D: Redcliffe Community Demonstration project
    23. 23. One Year Plan <ul><li>Community awareness and education - issues and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-organizational protocols and referral networks </li></ul><ul><li>Staff training- for service providers, professionals, bank staff </li></ul><ul><li>Development and evaluation of materials </li></ul>
    24. 24. Redcliffe Project – Education and support <ul><li>Older people – workshops and information sessions - building confidence and skills to self-manage assets, and advocacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Carers/families – addressing attitudes and behaviours, assistance to develop good practices, enhancing financial literacy and accountability. Improving support. </li></ul><ul><li>Community - awareness raising, addressing ageism, attitudes towards older people’s assets and planning for older age. Improving financial literacy more generally . </li></ul>
    25. 25. Workshops with carers and older people
    26. 26. System Responses <ul><li>Improving referral networks, agency protocols and cross-sectoral responses –Focus groups, survey and inter-sectoral meetings to develop a referral pathway. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional education and staff training – improving recognition and response. Focus on asset management as well as abuse. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Working with networks
    28. 28. Policy/Legal/Financial Responses <ul><li>Improve the safeguards in current legal mechanisms such as Enduring Powers of Attorney. </li></ul><ul><li>Improve access to legal and financial information and advice. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancing the role of financial institutions in education, alerts and reporting. </li></ul><ul><li>Addressing environmental barriers to self-management. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Conclusion <ul><li>Complex issue requiring a range of responses that address prevention as well as intervention. </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping protection and empowerment at the forefront. </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting attitudes and systems that protect older people and support families while fiercely maintaining older people’s right to make frivolous and imprudent decisions about their own assets. </li></ul>
    30. 30. Key References <ul><li>Tilse, et al (2007) Managing the Financial Assets of Older People: Balancing independence and protection. British Journal of Social Work. 37(3):565-72 . </li></ul><ul><li>McCawley, A. et al.(2006) Access to assets; Older people with impaired capacity and finanical abuse. Journal of Adult Protection 8(1):20-33 </li></ul><ul><li>Tilse, et al. (2005) Minding the Money. Ageing and Society 25(2): 217-227. </li></ul>
    31. 31. References <ul><li>Tilse, et al. (2005) Older People’s Assets: A Contested Site. Australasian Journal on Ageing 24(Supplement): S51–S56. </li></ul><ul><li>Setterlund, et al. (2003) Older People and Substitute Decision Making Legislation: Limits to Informed Choice. Australasian Journal on Ageing 21(3): 128-133. </li></ul><ul><li>Tilse, et al. (2003) The Mismanagement of the Assets of Older People: The Concerns and Actions of Aged Care Workers. Australasian Journal on Ageing 22(1): 9-14. </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Cheryl Tilse </li></ul><ul><li>School of Social Work & Applied Human Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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