New Report Underscores Gaps In National Strategy On Elder Financial Abuse

A few months before he died last November, Robert Matava of Unionville, a decorated World War II veteran, spoke publicly about his battle with a stealthy domestic enemy: financial exploitation of the elderly. After his wife died, Matava had moved to Florida, entrusting his son with his estate, including the house he built and the auto repair business he started. When he returned to Unionville in 2010 to spend his remaining years at home, he said, his son “refused to let me in” and he found himself penniless. “In all my 90 years, I couldn’t predict the abuse I’d suffer” at the hands of a family member, he had testified at a hearing convened by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is pushing legislation to strengthen detection and prosecution of elder abuse. A new government report highlights the need for better collaboration among federal agencies, banks and state authorities to combat the kind of exploitation that Matava said he suffered.

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