Elder financial abuse and the professional bystander intervention model: A review centered on dementia

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Research on senior care has focused on both physical and mental health care, but the relationship between elders' financial security and health has been overlooked. Recent studies have investigated how dementia increases the risk of elder financial abuse-focusing specifically on types of and measures against elder financial abuse. In the first part of this paper, we define and contextualize elder financial abuse, with specific respect to elders with dementia. We then introduce the professional bystander intervention model and discuss its potential to reduce the risk of financial abuse of elders with dementia. In the second part, we analyze news articles related to financial abuse of elders with dementia in Taiwan from 2009 to 2018. News articles published in four major newspapers (China Times, United Daily News, Liberty Times, and Apple Daily) are included. We analyze the types of financial abuse, identities of the abusers, types of property lost, and roles of bank staff. We categorize elders with dementia's financial abuse into three ones based on the identity of the abuser: "family embezzlement," "third-party fraud," and "self-misuse." In the cases of third-party fraud and self-misuse, bank staff were more likely to act as bystanders to prevent financial abuse. We propose two future research directions: first, to survey the bank staff's awareness toward the financial abuse of people with dementia, and second, to develop training courses for banks to assist them become more dementia friendly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-385
Number of pages13
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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