Skip to main content

Your Help Needed for Elder Family Financial Exploitation Research

By Marlene Stum, Professor and Extension Specialist — Family Social Science

Your help is needed to identify potential participants to understand family experiences when elderly people are victims of financial exploitation by someone in their own family. We have half of our participants but need another recruitment push to reach our goal of having all interviews completed by March 2017.

Elder family financial exploitation is widely agreed to be the most prevalent and growing type of elder abuse in Minnesota as well as across the U.S. It is also commonly recognized that “families are never the same after experiencing financial exploitation.” However, the voices and perspectives of affected family members are largely absent from what’s known about elder financial exploitation.

Our research study is providing a chance for family members, other than the elder victim and the perpetrator(s), to tell their story about the experience, costs, and impact of financial exploitation. This means that a family member has taken or used the elder’s money or property without permission or authority to do so. It is likely that adult children, nieces/nephews, grandchildren, or siblings of the elder victim may volunteer to share their story. Family members may find it helpful to be able to talk about their experiences. They may find it empowering to know that they are helping others in similar situations by contributing valuable information that will help inform prevention and intervention strategies and best practices.

We are looking for family members who have experienced elder financial exploitation in their own family and who meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Are a family member who is not the elder exploitation victim, and is not the perpetrator of the elder financial exploitation
  • Have experienced elder family financial exploitation whether or not reported to authorities
  • Reside in the Twin Cities Metro area or are willing to be interviewed over the phone if at a distance
  • Are able to understand and speak English (given capacity of research team)
Study participants will receive a $30 Target gift card for their involvement.

Here’s how you can help to spread the word and recruit potential study participants:
  • If you know of a family member who has experienced elder financial exploitation in their own family, please let him or her know about this research project by sharing the flyer (EFFE flyer [226 K PDF]) and/or our web page (
  • Share the recruitment flyer with adult family members who may themselves (or know of others) have experienced elder financial exploitation in their family. If you would like a printed supply of the flyers to distribute, please contact me at
  • Forward this request on to other professionals/friends who may be interested and helpful in recruiting study participants.
The study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board, IRB Code # 1610S96987. If you have any questions, concerns, or recruitment suggestions please contact us.

Print Friendly and PDF