Sometimes your client will come to you seeking help to end or recover from an abusive situation. Perhaps more frequently, however, you may also discover that someone is the victim of abuse in the course of representing them in another matter. Your legal services program should have a system in place for screening for financial exploitation and other forms of elder abuse, at intake, at clinics, and through the course of legal representation.
The signs and symptoms of elder abuse can be detected in all practice areas. Elder financial exploitation cases do not always present as elder abuse. The older adult who comes in for help with utilities, rent or a consumer debt lawsuit may be struggling to pay her bills because she has been financially exploited. Or, an older adult may be facing eviction because of an abusive adult child who refuses to leave the home. The resources in this section of the Toolkit are designed to assist advocates with detecting these issues.