In senior care, the term “nursing home” often conjures images of safety, care and support. Families entrust these facilities to provide their elderly loved ones with the attention and respect they deserve.
Unfortunately, not all facilities live up to this expectation, and financial exploitation can sometimes rear its ugly head. If you are someone who has a loved one in a senior care facility, know that recognizing financial exploitation in a nursing home is the key to preventing it from continuing to occur.
Understanding the scope of the problem
Financial exploitation is a form of nursing home abuse that involves illegally gaining access to an older adult’s funds, property or assets. The exploitation can take many forms, including:
The impact of financial exploitation is devastating, as it not only robs seniors of their hard-earned money but also erodes their trust and sense of security.
Warning signs of financial exploitation
The best way to combat this risk is to recognize the warning signs. Look out for unexplained withdrawals, transfers or changes in your loved one’s financial accounts. Sudden or unusual financial activity should be investigated promptly. Elderly residents may also experience the disappearance of personal items or valuables. Frequent unexplained losses may indicate theft.
Additionally, unauthorized changes to wills, powers of attorney or other legal documents are another serious concern. Try to ensure that your loved one’s legal affairs are in order and remain unchanged.
Finally, financial exploitation often goes hand in hand with emotional abuse. If your loved one seems unusually withdrawn, fearful or isolated, it may be a sign that something is amiss.
By recognizing the warning signs of financial exploitation, taking preventative measures and reporting suspected abuse, you can help to protect your elderly loved ones from misconduct designed to take advantage of them.