Quality & Safety

Older Adults and Scam Awareness: Exploring Vulnerability Within Geriatric Oncology

Deborah A. Boyle

exploitation, financial, older adults, scam, geriatric, patients with cancer
CJON 2020, 24(4), 434-438. DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.434-438

The majority of patients with cancer are adults aged 65 years or older. Despite this, their special needs are generally under-recognized and under-researched. This includes the lack of awareness about scams targeting vulnerable older adults. The purpose of this article is to share knowledge and resources about financial exploitation of patients aged 65 years or older. Enhanced recognition of this phenomenon can facilitate oncology nurses’ early identification and interventions for at-risk older adult populations.


  • Advanced age is the greatest risk factor for cancer. Older adults represent 16% of the U.S. population; however, this group accounts for 64% of all cancer diagnoses.
  • There is growing evidence of financial exploitation of adults aged 65 years or older.
  • Oncology nurses at the point of care can facilitate education, patient safety, and advocacy by using practical information, such as fact sheets related to financial exploitation and scams. 
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