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(F.A.S.T.) Financial Abuse Specialist Team Video Preview Transcript

[Man speaking off camera]

Narrator: California’s Santa Clara county, like the rest of the country, is experiencing exponential growth of its senior populous. Financial abuse of the elderly has also been dramatically rising. Since persons over 50 control at least 70 percent of the nation’s household net worth, they are frequent targets for exploiters, especially if they are homebound and disabled in some way.

These critical factors were all influential to the development of Santa Clara County’s Social Services Agency Department of Aging and Adult Services’ Financial Abuse Specialist Team--F.A.S.T.

[Elderly mother sits at table and her middle-aged son stands over her. Son holds pen and places stack of papers in front of her.]

[Son speaks and hands pen to mother.]

Son: Very nice. I like, uh, I just need you to sign this right here. Okay? And this’ll help so I can take care of things for us.

[Mother ignores pen, leafs through papers, and questions.]

Mother: What is it?

[Son pushes papers back in place and removes some papers and places them out of her reach. He answers and tries to put the pen in her hand.]

Son: It’s ah--it’s just a document that lets me--uh--take care of bills for you. You know, so that--uh--we don’t have to--uh--you don’t have to be involved in everything all the time. Here, just--just take the pen--will you mom?

[Mother responds.]

Mother: I can’t read it.

[Son speaks.]

Son: You don’t need to--I just--you don’t need to, I’m telling you what it is.

[Betty F. Malks, Director of the Department of Aging & Adult Services, speaks on camera.]

Betty Malks: Elder financial abuse is becoming the crime of the 21st century.

[Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney, speaks on camera.]

Karyn Sinunu: Elders are afraid, and they do not report.

[Background changes to a photo of an elderly woman with facial bruises. Jamie Buckmaster, Program Manager, Adult Protective Services, speaks on camera.]

Jamie Buckmaster: There are a lot of people that don’t believe elder abuse exists.

[Cindy Seeley Hendrickson, Deputy District Attorney, speaks on camera.]

Cindy Seeley Hendrickson: It was a crime of opportunity. They, maybe they, got power of attorney for legitimate reasons, but then they realized that it sort of gave them carte blanche to go and do whatever they wanted with the person’s assets.

[Betty F. Malks, Director of the Department of Aging & Adult Services, speaks on camera.]

Betty Malks: The beauty of this partnership is that all of the partners were able to know what their strengths were and what might be the obstacles we needed to overcome.

[End of video clip.]

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