National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Celebrates 15th Annual National Consumer Protection Week

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Attorneys educate elderly and individuals with special needs on fraud and other forms of financial abuse.

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As a founding member of the Elder Justice Coalition and Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, NAELA and its members are devoted to protecting older Americans from financial scams and to assisting those who have become victims.

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) proudly joins government agencies, advocacy organizations, and private sector groups nationwide to celebrate National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), March 3-9, 2013. For the past 15 years, a broad coalition has worked together to share tips and information about privacy protection, money and debt management, and recognizing identity theft, frauds, and scams.

NAELA members regularly come into contact with older adults and individuals with disabilities who have experienced some kind of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. NAELA has shared these stories and our concerns on the inadequacy of the programs designed to prevent, detect, and address the problems of financial exploitation with the Government Accountability Office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Common forms of elder and financial abuse seen by NAELA members include:

  • Older Americans are often targets of scam artists. NAELA members have seen older Americans scammed by individuals pretending to be a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs, by individuals offering fake home improvement services, by individuals impersonating employees of charities, and by telephone solicitation scams;
  • Older Americans are often the subject of financial abuse at the hands of their close family and friends. NAELA members frequently see close friends or family misuse an older American’s Power of Attorney document;
  • NAELA members hear of non-accredited advisers selling unnecessary annuities to older Americans that often render the elderly ineligible for Medicaid benefits.

“As a founding member of the Elder Justice Coalition and Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, NAELA and its members are devoted to protecting older Americans from financial scams and to assisting those who have become victims. NAELA also continues to advocate for full funding of the Elder Justice Act to protect older persons from elder financial exploitation and abuse,” said NAELA President Gregory S. French, CELA, CAP.

NAELA was a strong supporter of the recent reauthorization of the Violence Against Women’s Act, in part because it includes provisions addressing the scourge of violence against older women and enhances training and services to end abuse later in life.

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations is a coalition of aging organizations that serve older Americans and are dedicated to providing a voice for seniors and their families in the ongoing national debate on aging policy.

The Elder Justice Coalition is a coalition of organizations and individuals that support the fight against elder abuse, promote awareness of elder justice issues, highlight government’s responsibility to help create systems to ensure elder justice and the funding of the Elder Justice Act.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.

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Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
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