Peter LichtenbergDirector of the Wayne State Institute of Gerontology and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute Department of Psychology
Areas of expertisehealth disparities
Financial exploitation takes the form of theft, scams and abuse of trust directed toward vulnerable older Americans who, in some cases, may be experiencing cognitive challenges such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Nearly half of these crimes are committed by someone that the victim knows and trusts, such as a relative or caregiver.
Peter Lichtenberg, a geriatric psychologist and director of Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology (IOG) and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, is leading the charge to tackle the problem of financial exploitation of older adults. A nationally renowned expert, Lichtenberg has published several papers on the topic and works with his colleagues to create tools to assess the financial decision-making abilities of older adults.
Lichtenberg and his team have taken the research and tools into the community to train social workers, financial planners, attorneys and other professionals about financial exploitation. “We maintain a strong community presence, particularly in our own urban neighborhood of Detroit. Through the institute, we provide programming and educational services that reach thousands of people annually.”