Frailty and Perceived Financial Exploitation: Findings from the Finance, Cognition, and Health in Elders Study


Jenna Axelrod, PhD, Laura Mosqueda, MD, Gali H. Weissberger, PhD, Annie L. Nguyen, PhD, Patricia A. Boyle, PhD, Emanuil Parunakian, BS, S. Duke Han, PhD


Objective: Many older adults who are cognitively intact experience financial exploitation (FE), and the reasons for this are poorly understood. Methods: Data were gathered from 37 older adults (M age = 69.51, M education = 15.89, 62% female) from the Finance, Cognition, and Health in Elders Study (FINCHES). Twenty-four older adults who self-reported FE were demographically-matched according to age, education, race, and MoCA performance to thirteen older adults who denied experiencing FE. Participants completed the Tilburg Frailty Inventory. Results: FE participants reported greater total frailty (t = 2.06, p = .04) when compared to non-FE participants. Post-hoc analyses revealed that FE participants endorsed greater physical frailty (U = 89, p = .03), specifically poorer sensory functioning (hearing and vision). Discussion: Findings suggest frailty is associated with FE in old age and may represent a target for intervention programs for the financial wellbeing of older adults.

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Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.