Preventing Financial Abuse of People with Dementia

Alzheimer’s Australia has released Preventing Financial Abuse of People with Dementia (June 2014).

Recommendations include:

  • Establishment of a NSW Public Advocate to investigate reports of financial abuse.
  • Refer to the NSW Law Reform Commission an examination of a register of Enduring Power of Attorneys; an investigation of how to appropriately respond to financial abuse of people with dementia; and an investigation of the adequacy of current laws covering financial abuse under the Powers of Attorney Act 2003.
  • Amending the NSW Interagency Protocol for Responding to Abuse of Older People to reflect any changes to the legislation and practice.
  • Establishment of a Vulnerable Communities Officer role in all Local Area Commands of the Police Force to identify those at risk of financial abuse and to support victims.
  • Education of attorneys appointed under Enduring Powers of Attorney as to their rights and responsibilities.
  • Public education about financial abuse.
  • The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to require banking and finance services to develop systems to prevent abuse and develop protocols to report suspected abuse to public advocates.
  • Mandatory training for banking and finance staff to identify financial abuse.
  • Banking and finance staff to provide customers with information about how to protect themselves from financial abuse.
  • Lawyers to receive training about financial abuse as part of their continuing legal education requirements.
  • Funded age care organisations required to make staff aware of their obligation sunder the NSW Interagency Protocol for Responding to Abuse of Older People.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW recommends that victims of financial abuse contact NSW Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 628 221, a confidential service offering information, advice and referrals. 

Lawyers

Sydney, Australia

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