Understanding financial elder abuse in families: the potential of routine activities theory

Setterlund, Deborah, Tilse, Cheryl, Wilson, Jill, McCawley, Anne-Louise and Rosenman, Linda (2007) Understanding financial elder abuse in families: the potential of routine activities theory. Ageing and Society, 27 4: 599-614. doi:10.1017/S0144686X07006009

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Author Setterlund, Deborah
Tilse, Cheryl
Wilson, Jill
McCawley, Anne-Louise
Rosenman, Linda
Title Understanding financial elder abuse in families: the potential of routine activities theory
Journal name Ageing and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0144-686X
Publication date 2007-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0144686X07006009
Volume 27
Issue 4
Start page 599
End page 614
Total pages 16
Editor T. Warnes
Place of publication New York
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
370203 Social Policy
370299 Social Work not elsewhere classified
750304 The aged
750310 Carers development and welfare (i.e. carers for the aged, disabled)
Abstract The aim of this paper is to stimulate theoretical thought about financial elder abuse within families, by exploring the potential of 'routine activities theory' for raising our understanding of, and response to, its occurrences. Research into financial elder abuse, defined as the illegal or improper use of a person's finances or property by another person, has tended to emphasise the abusive event and the associated risk factors. 'Routine activities theory', in contrast, directs attention more to developing prevention strategies that focus on everyday activities and hence seek to reduce the opportunities for illegal activity. The authors' research programme on the broad topic of money management and older people in Australia has conceptualised financial elder abuse as one possible outcome of the family management of older people's assets. This paper reports an application of routine activities theory to in-depth data of the asset-management practices and experiences of 81 family members who were assisting 86 older people. The paper concludes that the theory contributes to our understanding of how and why financial abuse occurs in families. It makes clear the distorting influence of a sense of entitlement and the preventive importance of both capable guardians, to oversee family-asset management and be alert to mismanagement, and the need for improved financial awareness, skills and probity in the community in connection with this common task of assisting older people to manage their financial assets.
Keyword Gerontology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Mon, 05 May 2008, 15:27:55 EST by Elena Stewart on behalf of School of Social Work and Human Services