Elder Financial Abuse

Financial Exploitation of Seniors in Nursing Homes

One form of elder abuse involves financial exploitation. Improperly using or fraudulently obtaining an elder's money or property may be considered financial abuse. These acts may be committed by a family member, caregiver, institution or other individual or company. Senior citizens in nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be targeted by caregivers or by administrators at the facility.

Elder financial abuse can occur in different ways. Money or property may be taken from an elderly patient or resident without their consent or knowledge, particularly when the patient is mentally and/or physically incapacitated. In other cases, financial exploitation may occur by way of threats or intimidation. The offender may threaten physical harm or may threaten to withhold food, water or medication. Financial abuse may also occur by way of fraud or deception, by a person who attempts to get close to the elderly patient in order to receive financial assistance, gifts or even in order to have the patient change his or her will.

Identifying the Signs of Financial Abuse & Taking Action

There are specific signs that may indicate financial elder abuse. When you are aware of these, you can identify them and take immediate action to protect your loved one's assets and property. You may also be able to take legal action against the offender to recover the money or property that was stolen or fraudulently obtained. The following are some of the signs you should be aware of:

· The disappearance of valuable property or money;

· Sudden decrease in a bank account balance, particularly from one or more cash withdrawals;

· An additional (particularly unknown) name on an elder's bank account;

· Sudden transfer of assets or property; and

· Sudden changes in a will, particularly with new beneficiaries named.

When an elderly person is subjected to financial abuse, this may leave them robbed of valuable assets that they needed to survive. It may also mean that the loved ones they intended to leave meaningful or valuable possessions to will not receive these. If you have observed any of the signs of financial elder abuse or have been told by an elderly loved one that they were subjected to financial exploitation of any kind, it is important to take action to further investigate the matter.

If a crime has been committed, contacting the police can spur a criminal investigation into the matter. You may also find it helpful to get in contact with a nursing home abuse attorney who can advise you on steps that can be taken to recover the money or property that was taken or to revert a will or other document to its original state.

Find a local nursing home abuse lawyerwho can help you take the right legal steps.