Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Sheryl Strasser

Second Advisor

Megan Smith

Abstract

Eleven percent of Georgians and 13.3% of all Americans are currently over the age of 65. The segment of elderly adults in the United States is the fastest growing subpopulation, attributed to both average lifespan increases and a significant aging of "the baby boomer generation". Thus it is increasingly important that health and policy professionals give attention to issues of health and well-being faced by the aging population. One such issue, financial exploitation of the elderly, has received a large amount of media attention and public concern over the last several years, due to a large increase in the recorded prevalence of the problem. It has been estimated by some studies that financial exploitation of the elderly occurs in 4-5% of the aged population.

A variety of legislation, both state and federal, has attempted to address and curb the problem. Like many states, Georgia has successfully passed and implemented such legislation; however as numbers of exploitation continue to increase, it is clear that all states still require a number of policy changes in order to truly eliminate the problem. The purpose of this capstone project is to synthesize scientific research dedicated to financial exploitation of the elderly and, describe current policies in place to address this problem. Finally, policy recommendations for the State of Georgia will be offered so that response and prevention systems effectively reduce the occurrence of this crime.

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