Experts warn about increasing financial abuse of older people in the UK

Experts warn about increasing financial abuse of older people in the UK

Proposed changes to UK law risk substantially increasing financial abuse of older people, warn experts in The BMJ today. Plans by the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice to modernize marriage law and Lasting Powers of Attorney aim to make procedures simpler and easier and both include limited safeguards, write Professor Carolyn Stephens and colleagues in an editorial. But lawyers and experts argue that, in their current form, these are unlikely to prevent vulnerable individuals, particularly older people with failing capacity, being coerced into either marriage or powers of attorney. Globally, one in six older people (defined as aged 60 and older) face abuse, particularly those with dementia, the authors explain. Physical abuse includes violence, but psychological and financial abuse is recorded as the most common form of harm, …
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