There are several different names for elder financial abuse. It is also called material exploitation or financial exploitation. The definition is pretty cut and dry and means the illegal or improper use of another person’s assets, property, or funds. When an elderly person is living in an assisted living facility or a nursing home they are in a very vulnerable position to become the victim of elderly financial abuse. It is often the case that the senior is unaware that they are being taken advantage of financially.
While elderly financial abuse can take on many different forms the following is a list of the more common ways in which financial abuse occurs against our loved ones in West Palm Beach.
- Theft of the elderly’s money, jewelry, or other possessions
- The forging of a resident’s signature
- Cashing an elderly resident’s check without their permission
- Tricking a resident into signing a document, will, or other contract
- Improperly use of a power of attorney, conservatorship, or guardianship
- Identity theft
- Misuse of the patient’s credit cards or personal checks
There are several signs that family members should be on the lookout for to ensure their loved ones do not fall victim to elderly financial abuse.
- The inexplicable transfer of assets
- The inexplicable transfer of funds
- Sudden changes in the patient’s financial documents or will
- Abrupt changes in banking
- Missing of personal assets and belongings
- Hesitation and refusal of the elderly person to discuss financially related matters
It is estimated that elderly financial abuse accounts for losses in excess of $2.6 billion every year. This type of abuse can happen to any of our loved ones and we need to be vigilant to ensure that they are properly protected. Generally speaking this type of abuse is perpetrated by people who are close to the elderly resident. If you suspect that your loved one is being financially abused it is vital that you seek the guidance of an experienced advisor to ensure you protect the assets they have worked so hard to accumulate.