Philadelphia Inquirer Highlights Jason Karlawish Efforts on Elder Fraud
Co-Director of the University of Pennsylvania Memory Center and LDI Senior Fellow Jason Karlawish is the subject of an extensive Philadelphia Inquirer article about elders' vulnerability to financial scams and new financial industry efforts to address that problem.
Karlawish, MD, a Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and Director of the Penn Neurodegenerative Disease Ethics and Policy Program, is a nationally recognized authority on Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia and cognitive decline. His research has focused on the detection, treatment, progression, and impact of such mental conditions on the daily lives and well being of patients, their families and their care givers.
Elder financial health
The Inquirer article focuses on Karlawish's keynote remarks at the recent "Aging, Cognition, and Financial Health" conference in Philadelphia co-sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Penn's Healthy Brain Research Center and the Penn Memory Center.
Back grounding the event was rapidly growing concern about the scale on which elders with mild cognitive impairment were being taken advantage of by outside fraud artists, unscrupulous investment brokers and members of their own family.
The estimated the amount of exploitation of the elderly is as high as $36 billion annually.
In an opening address, Philadelphia Fed President and CEO Patrick Harker estimated the amount of exploitation of the elderly to be as high as $36 billion annually -- or an average of more than $98 million a day. And he noted that number doesn't include all forms of elder fraud.
Adding a human face
Adding a human face to the large numbers, Karlawish described typical cases of how cognitively impaired older patients had been exploited, defrauded or otherwise suffered large losses as they became less able to handle the details of their daily financial lives.
The two-day conference brought together academics as well as financial, government and advocacy agency executives to discuss the growing nature of the problem and a variety of solutions aimed at addressing it. Included were new rules that allow security brokers to put elder accounts on temporary hold if potential fraud is suspected.