Financial exploitation can happen to anyone, but it’s more likely to happen to those who easily become confused. This one of the reasons why the elderly are much more likely to be victims of financial exploitation than others.
The sad truth about this kind of exploitation is that it often involves those who are closest to the elder. This can include people such as:
- Family members
- Bank employees
In fact, one out of every nine seniors has admitted to being neglected, exploited or abused in the last year, so it’s very important to do what you can to protect your loved one.
How common is elder financial abuse?
It is hard to know exactly how common it is, because only one out of every 44 cases is reported. Around one out of 10 financial abuse victims will go on to need Medicaid because of their money being stolen.
How do people take advantage of the elderly?
Financial abuse can happen in a number of ways. There are a few methods including:
- Misusing Power of Attorney to access finances
- Stealing checks or money using ATM cards
- Refusing to provide care or medical services in the hope of obtaining more financial gain from the elderly person’s estate
- Charging for services that are already paid for
- Keeping change from errands
- Paying bills that are not the elderly person’s responsibility
- Falsifying time sheets for in-home care
- Threatening the elderly person with violence or harm unless they support the other person financially
How does financial abuse affect the elderly?
One problem is that stolen funds can lead to the elder needing Medicaid for care. Other issues that may arise include:
- The elderly party developing anxiety or depression
- The loss of the primary residence
- Financial destitution
- A loss of security
What should you do if you believe financial abuse has taken place or is taking place?
If you believe that financial abuse is occurring, it’s important to put a halt to it immediately. You should speak with your loved one. If they are not able to tell you about the abuse, then you should reach out to your attorney for help. Gather evidence, such as missing money from accounts or missing checks, so that you can show that the money is not where it should be.
As a loved one of an elderly family member, you can step in and help protect them.