Elderly people are one of the most vulnerable populations in society, and for this reason, we take extra care to love and protect them. Sadly, this vulnerability can make our older loved ones susceptible to abuse. Nursing home patients can be especially at risk for abuse, and one of the most common types of elderly abuse is financial abuse. While this type of abuse may not be as obvious as physical abuse, it is still extremely damaging and must be addressed immediately if noticed.
Examples of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse involves any instance in which a person’s money or property is being taken advantage of by someone else, often without the victim’s knowledge. The elderly can be targeted by abusers because they may not be aware of their finances, may have mental or physical limitations that make them unable to monitor their own financial situation, or may be unfamiliar with common scam techniques.
Financial abuse may involve situations such as:
- Stealing money or valuables from a nursing home resident’s room
- Having an elderly person sign over real estate, bank accounts, and other items without their knowledge
- Forging documents
- Convincing an elderly person to include someone in their will
- Obtaining bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc.
- Purchasing items with a nursing home resident’s credit card
Signs of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse can be difficult to recognize, especially if you do not have access to your loved one’s accounts or if they already have a weak grasp on their finances. Primarily, it is crucial to look out for any inconsistencies with an elderly person’s financial situation.
Some signs that your loved one could be a victim of financial abuse may include:
- Losing a significant amount of money for seemingly no reason
- Your loved one cannot afford items they once could
- There are unexplained purchases in their room or home
- Someone who was once familiar with their finances no longer is
- Money or valuables are missing
- Collection agencies are targeting your loved one
- Documents have been changed
What to Do if You Suspect Financial Abuse is Occurring in a Nursing Home
If you believe your loved one is a victim of financial abuse, please contact our attorneys as soon as possible. We can provide guidance on how to proceed. You should also remove your family member from the nursing home if you can, and be sure to save any evidence you have of the abuse.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call (502) 937-1125 or send us a message.