When an older senior is financially abused by acquaintances, relatives, or caretakers such as nursing home personnel, it is known as elder financial abuse. This sort of mistreatment can leave elders bankrupt after decades of saving. Thankfully, there are steps you may do to prevent elder financial abuse and intervene if it does occur. If you or someone you know is experiencing elder financial abuse, you should look for elder law attorney near me and get professional help.
What Is Financial Abuse of the Elderly?
When someone takes money or other valuable items from an older adult, it is known as elder financial abuse. As humans age, they may require assistance in managing their finances and caring for themselves. This is particularly true in Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive decline situations, as these diseases cause cognitive capacities to deteriorate.
Unfortunately, seniors may place their faith in persons who are not looking out for their best interests. Anyone, whether a family member, a friend or a caregiver, can try to steal an elder’s money in a variety of ways.
Theft of an elder’s possessions is one example of elder financial abuse.
Taking over the power of attorney of an elderly person
Taking use of the elder’s cash or credit cards
Financial abuse is more difficult to detect than other forms of elder abuse since the victim is not physically harmed. Elder financial exploitation can go undetected for years before being discovered.
Financial exploitation of the elderly might have long-term implications. Senior citizens may lose their whole life savings and be unable to afford rent, nursing home care, or other essential living expenditures.
Financial exploitation may also be psychologically damaging. As per the National Center on Elder Abuse, seniors have been unhappy or nervous due to financial abuse (NCEA).
However, there are steps you may take to stop elder financial exploitation. For instance, to seek justice, you can file situations to Adult Protective Services (APS) or local law enforcement.
Who is at Risk of Financial Abuse Against the Elderly?
Elder abuse may affect anybody over 65, but some are more vulnerable to financial abuse than others.
Elderly people who are more vulnerable to financial exploitation:
Senior citizens who live alone:
Abuse may be more likely among older adults who do not have a strong family or friends support network. Financial abuse might go unreported for days, months, or even years if no one checks on an elder.
The coronavirus outbreak made it far more difficult for elderly folks to see trusted loved ones, putting them at greater risk of financial exploitation. Elders may be unable to recognize a probable scam or seek assistance if they have been victimized.
Senior citizen diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia:
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impair a person’s capacity to think effectively, make decisions, and care for oneself. Elder financial abuse is common among the elderly with certain impairments, as they may be unable to detect it or intervene.
Senior citizens who have befriended new people:
Senior citizens are frequently lonely. People with evil intentions may try to befriend them and take their money if they don’t have a spouse, good friends, or relatives nearby. As a result, families should be on the watch for new “friendships” that an elderly person establishes unexpectedly.
Who Commits Financial Abuse of the Elderly?
According to elder abuse attorney near me, monetary abuse against the elderly is most commonly perpetrated by family members, spouses, or those in a senior’s trust.
- Friends and family members
While people may believe that outsiders are the most prevalent perpetrators of financial exploitation, this is not the case. According to the NCEA, family members, such as grown children or spouses, perpetrated 53 percent of elder financial abuse instances.
- Lawyers and financial planners
The elderly might entrust their belongings to attorneys, administrators, and financial experts. On the other hand, these people can make use of their power to exploit their clients.
- Caregivers and nursing home staff
Financial exploitation in elderly homes may take many forms. Staff can remove money from a resident’s purse or wallet, create payments in their name, or steal in other ways.
A member of the family or a caregiver is not always the perpetrator of elder financial abuse. Every year, the elderly are defrauded by phone and email fraud.
The older has won a prize, say the perpetrators.
- They are kin in need of money,
- They are bank inspectors,
- They are vendors, and the elder’s home needs repairs.