You may not realize that many individuals in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are susceptible to financial exploitation.
Financial exploitation and abuse is much more common than people realize. One in 20 elders have experienced financial exploitation, but only one in 44 cases get reported.
What is it
Financial abuse or exploitation is just what it sounds like: someone taking financial advantage of an elderly person. Many people can commit financial abuse against older individuals, including family members, friends or caregivers. This type of abuse can be difficult to spot, but there are certain signs that financial abuse may be occurring, including:
- Disappearing cash
- Unauthorized use of credit card
- Signed over will or important documents to a stranger
- Blackmailing for financial gain
- Scamming or conning the elder into giving over financial information
What to do if you suspect it
There are three steps you can follow if you suspect financial exploitation of and elderly individual. They include:
- Speak up: Many cases of elder financial abuse go unreported, which is why it is important to inform or report the proper authorities about your suspicions.
- Ask questions: Ask your elder about the financial problems and try to find out what or who could be causing the abuse.
- Talk to an attorney: If you have a reason to suspect elder financial abuse, talk to an attorney who can help the elder regain compensation or penalize the perpetrator.
It can be difficult to find out that an elder in your life is dealing with financial trouble due to exploitation, but turning the situation around is not impossible.