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Slate: Late true-crime author Ann Rule a victim of elder abuse

We are always heartened to see the issue of elder abuse taken up by the media. A July 30, 2015 article in Slate, which leads off with the sad circumstances leading up to the death of true-crime author Ann Rule, offers up some well-turned phrases about elder abuse that we think really capture the essence:

“According to the experts, financial abuse of the elderly—or suspected financial abuse—is set to become a defining fraud of the next several decades.”

“Think of it this way: Monetary abuse of the elderly is, in some ways, the financial equivalent of date rape, often leaving victims shamed, embarrassed, and blaming themselves for their own victimization—and, as a result, unlikely to come forward.”

“It’s the personal accusations that rip families and friends apart on a seemingly regular basis, after all.”

“…[it is estimated that] people who make it past the age of 85 suffer about a 50 percent chance of suffering from a significant cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s, and you can see why the problem is so large.”

The article mentions some of the possible perpetrators of elder abuse: financial advisers, contractors, Nigerian scammers, magazine subscription salespeople, caregivers, family members, and even lawyers. In Rule’s case, according to the article, it was two of her sons who are accused of having bullied and tricked their mother into giving them more than $100,000.

Articles about celebrity victims of elder abuse, while regrettably, are opportunities for better public awareness about the need for vigilance.

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