Minnesota officials are asking physicians and nurses to help identify when financial scams hit their older patients. Commerce commissioner Mike Rothman says his department is sponsoring the education program. Rothman said as many as one third of Minnesota's elderly in their 70s suffer from some form of dementia, from mild to severe.
"This will help train medical professionals, doctors and nurses, to help identify when seniors are financially stressed and to help them get the assistance they need to stop the epidemic of financial abuse of our elderly citizens," Rothman said.
The program is known as the EIFFE Prevention Program. It was developed by the nonprofit Investor Protection Trust and a number of independent, nonprofit investing advice groups as well as medical organizations, such as the American Geriatric Society.
Rothman says the program is used in more than two dozen states, where he says it has won the support of medical personnel.
"When you, people go the doctor one of the questions on an intake form might be, "have you had any financial stress lately," and if so then the doctor can follow up and then they can figure out if there's too much and if something bad financially has happened to them," Rothman said.
The anti-scam program will teach medical staff to call to the government offices which can help people who may have been defrauded.