Financial elder abuse is a type of exploitation or fraud against older adults, often committed by people they trust. It includes activities such as creating forged documents, forging signatures, cashing fake checks and more. Financial elder abuse also extends to improper use of elderly assets by family members, caretakers and other guardians as well as misusing power of attorney from the elderly person.
Unfortunately, many seniors are not aware of the financial abuse being committed against them and could end up losing a significant portion of their life savings to the wrong people doing it. It is important for those responsible for elderly caregiving to keep an eye out for signs of financial abuse in order to protect vulnerable seniors from exploitation.
How Financial Elder Abuse Happens In a Nursing Home
Financial elder abuse commonly occurs in nursing homes, and can take many forms. Fraudulent activities such as forging a signature or stealing cash, using a deceased resident's belongings without permission, and pressuring the elderly to sign legal documents they don't understand are common examples of financial elder abuse.
In addition, nursing home staff may issue inappropriate loans or charge exorbitant fees without proper justification. It is essential for family members to be aware of their loved one's finances, since seniors staying in a nursing home often have limited access and guidance with their money matters.
Regularly visiting and checking bank and credit card statements for dubious charges are just some of the proactive steps family and friends should take to protect elderly relatives from financial exploitation.
Signs of Financial Elder Abuse
Financial elder abuse is a very serious issue that unfortunately has been on the rise in recent years. Signs of financial elder abuse can include sudden changes in bank account activity, large, unexplained withdrawals, or someone taking control of an elderly person's finances without their knowledge or consent.
Difficulty keeping track of bills and payments, expensive purchases in online orders, suspicious signatures on checks, and unanticipated transfers to others are also potential signs of financial elder abuse. It's essential to be aware of these warning signs so we can better protect our older loved ones from suffering this form of exploitation.