WASHINGTON, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Could America's doctors and nurses play a bigger role in learning the symptoms and recommended "treatments" for older patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that can leave them more susceptible to investment scams and other financial abuse?
A new Investor Protection Trust (IPT) online survey of 603 U.S. doctors and the nurses who work with them found that:
- One in five doctors/nurses (21 percent) say that they are aware that they often are dealing with the elderly victims of investment fraud/financial exploitation.
- More than four out of five doctors/nurses (84 percent) are willing to refer an elderly patient who may be the victim of investment fraud to those who may be able to help them with their financial affairs or to the proper authorities for help.
- About nine out of 10 doctors/nurses (92 percent) think that mild cognitive impairment often makes seniors more vulnerable to investment fraud/financial exploitation.
- About three out of five doctors (61 percent) would be interested in continuing medical education (CME) credits to learn more about the spotting the signs of investment fraud/financial exploitation of the elderly.
The Investor Protection Trust interest in the views of doctors and nurses on this topic stems from the Trust's Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) Prevention Program, which was launched in 2010. Starting with a grant from the Investor Protection Trust in 2008, the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Consortium Geriatric Education Center developed the original EIFFE Prevention Program. Since then, IPT has secured the participation of state securities offices in a total of 28 states and jurisdictions to form a coalition to prevent elder investment fraud/financial exploitation. To date, a total of 52 CME events have been held in 25 states and the District of Columbia, providing EIFEE training to 3,625 medical professionals.
Don Blandin, president and CEO, Investor Protection Trust, said: "Doctors and nurses must play an important front line role if we are going to do a better job of spotting older Americans who have been or are being victimized by investment fraud and other financial exploitation. State securities regulators are working with thousands of doctors across the United States to make sure that they learn the symptoms of this problem and what to prescribe in terms of help from the experts who are standing by to provide it. The Investor Protection Trust is very pleased to have played a key role in this important initiative to protect the financial wellbeing of older Americans."
Dr. Robert Roush, director, Texas Consortium Geriatric Education Center, Huffington Center on Aging, Baylor College of Medicine, said: "Doctors know that older Americans are not to blame if they suffer from mild cognitive impairment. It is a medical condition that can have very serious consequences when it comes to how susceptible older Americans are to con artists and others seeking to exploit them financially. That is why it makes so much sense for investor educators to reach out to doctors and the nurses that work with them. In a way, this is just another medical issue involving symptoms, those who suffer from it, and recommended courses of treatment. State securities agencies deserve credit for putting a real focus on training clinicians to spot and report the signs of investment fraud and financial exploitation in older patients."
Senior citizens have long been the target of unscrupulous investment scam artists. According to the 2010 Investor Protection Trust (IPT) Elder Fraud Survey, more than seven million older Americans – one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 – already have been victimized by a financial swindle. (See http://www.investorprotection.org/downloads/EIFFE_Survey_Report.pdf)
Other key findings of the June 2013 IPT survey of medical professionals include the following:
- More than three out of five doctors/nurses (62 percent) say the research linking MCI to investment fraud/financial exploitation and the elderly is consistent with what they see in their practice.
- More than four out of five doctors/nurses (81 percent) think that doctors have an important role to in recognizing and reporting the signs of investment fraud/financial exploitation targeting the elderly.
- More than nine out of 10 doctors/nurses (91 percent) think that older Americans are vulnerable to investment fraud/financial exploitation.
- Four out of five doctors/nurses (82 percent) say that investment fraud/financial exploitation targeting the elderly is a serious problem.
The full findings of the survey of medical professionals is available online at: www.investorprotection.org.
The 28 participating states and other jurisdictions in IPT's EIFFE Prevention Program are: Alabama; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kentucky; Maine; Michigan; Minnesota; Nebraska; North Carolina; New Jersey; New Mexico; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Puerto Rico; Tennessee; Utah; Vermont; Washington and West Virginia.
An August 2012 survey by IPT of 756 state securities regulators, financial planners, health care professionals, social workers, adult protective services, law enforcement officials, elder law attorneys, academics and other experts found that investment fraud and financial exploitation targeting older Americans is a major problem today and most seniors do not have the information they need to pick a financial advisor to help them protect their savings.
To learn more about EIFFE, go to http://www.investorprotection.org/ipt-activities/?fa=eiffe-pp on the Web.
The Investor Protection Trust (http://www.investorprotection.org) is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education. The primary mission of IPT is to provide independent, objective information needed by consumers to make informed investment decisions. Founded in 1993 as part of a multi-state settlement to resolve charges of misconduct, IPT serves as an independent source of unbiased and non-commercial investor education materials. IPT operates programs under its own auspices and uses grants to underwrite important investor education and protection initiatives carried out by other organizations. The IPT provides investor education at both the state and national levels. Those programs include the MoneyTrack national public television series, curriculum programs, public service announcements, research, investor education and protection booklets, DVDs, videos, Investor Education in Your Community®, Investor Education in Your Workplace®, the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program and The Campaign for Wise and Safe Investing®.
SOURCE Investor Protection Trust/Investor Protection Institute, Washington, D.C.