Elder Financial Abuse: What You Need to Know
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on December 30, 2016 in Nursing Home Abuse
Residents of nursing homes are often targeted for abuse and financial fraud. If you have a loved one who is a senior citizen living in a nursing home, it is important that you are able to identify signs of abuse or fraud.
If your loved one has been financially exploited while in a nursing home, contact the Milwaukee nursing home abuse attorneys at PKSD to discuss your claim through a free, no obligation consultation. As strong advocates of elderly rights, we will fight on behalf of seniors who have been taken advantage of by providing our services on a contingency fee basis.
Instances of financial abuse that commonly occur in nursing homes may include:
- Stealing a resident’s money or personal property.
- Forging a resident’s signature.
- Forcing or deceiving a resident to sign legal documents, such as a will, property deed or power of attorney.
- Using a resident’s personal property without permission.
Who Commits Elder Financial Abuse?
Although nursing home staff members are often to blame for financial abuse, nearly anyone with access to a resident is able to exploit him or her for monetary gain.
Family members may often take advantage of relatives placed in nursing homes for reasons that may include:
- Issues concerning financial problems, gambling addiction or substance abuse.
- Having a sense of entitlement to the senior’s money and possessions
- Seizing control of a senior’s finances to prevent others from acquiring their assets.
Other individuals outside the family may prey on a nursing home resident with the intention of exploiting him or her. These individuals may attempt to:
- Become romantically involved with a senior to steal from them, known as a sweetheart scam.
- Gain access to the senior through employment as a personal care aide or other caregiver.
- Identify seniors in a community who are vulnerable, by monitoring homes or contacting widows pinpointed from publicized obituaries.
Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
In order to identify financial abuse committed against nursing home residents, look for these signs:
- Unexplained bank withdrawals, money transfers and purchases concerning the resident’s account
- Eviction or disconnection notices resulting from unpaid bills
- Property that is expensive or holds sentimental value to a resident goes missing
- Suspicious new friends in a resident’s life
- A caregiver hired to assist a resident begins to take an interest in his or her finances
- The resident or their caregiver offers suspicious explanations regarding recent financial transactions
- The resident does not know about or understand financial arrangements being made on his or her behalf