The Senate Aging Committee this week held a hearing focusing on the financial abuse of older Americans by guardians and others and concurrently released a new report by the Government Accountability Office on guardianship abuse.

The report found that the extent of elder abuse by guardians is largely unknown due to the limited data on the number of guardians serving older adults. The GAO researchers asked six states to provide data on these guardianships, but none of the states selected were able to provide specific numbers of guardians and the states don’t consistently track the number of cases related to elder abuse by guardians.

The report also examined the role of the federal government in sharing information regarding guardianship including providing funding grants to support coordination and information sharing that could help educate guardians and other parties. For example, the GAO notes, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has developed materials that can be used to better help protect older adults with guardians from abuse.

Argentum has developed a toolkit on preventing financial elder abuse, available in the Argentum store.

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