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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor

Letter: Be aware of elder abuse

By Natalie Caputo, Vancouver
Published: March 21, 2024, 6:00am

I recently discovered my grandparents were quoted $6,500 for the installation of two toilets by a licensed plumber. Around six times more than the average homeowner — and yes they paid it. While this astronomical price might send off red flags to most, it’s hard to blame two trusting elderly individuals in desperate need of working plumbing for caving to the cost.

Elder financial fraud and abuse is a frightening epidemic. The worst part is, they often don’t know they’re being robbed. The physical/cognitive challenges facing older populations create a breeding ground for criminals to prey on vulnerability.

The understandable guilt and embarrassment as an elderly victim of these crimes cause them to go unreported and unresolved. We must bring attention to this epidemic. A more knowledgeable community can protect and save our families and loved ones from abuse and exploitation.

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