Financial exploitation is a problem that seems to be growing, and it targets those who have disabilities. Many elderly people suffer from disabilities and illnesses that make it easy for others to take advantage of them, which is why it’s so important to be certain of who you entrust to care for them.
It is normally trusted individuals who are part of the vulnerable person’s life who are found to be exploiting them. Those individuals may include people like:
- Bank employees
It is important to take care to check on your loved one and their financial health. Exploitation may become obvious in the form of missing money, unusual credit or loans taken out in their name or other ways.
Elder abuse is an underreported crime
Elder abuse is an underreported crime. In fact, only around one in nine seniors reported abuse, neglect or exploitation within the previous year. The risk of financial exploitation is also estimated to be high, with approximately 1 in 20 seniors stating that they believe some kind of financial mistreatment took place in their lives recently.
As a result of money being stolen, the economy can face an impact. Some victims have to turn to Medicaid to continue to receive support for health care as a result of their own financial losses.
What makes elders more vulnerable to financial abuse?
There are several things that make the elderly more likely to become victims of financial abuse. One is that they may have cognitive impairment, which means that they may need additional help with their daily activities. They may need someone else to make purchases for them or could give away funds without being in the right mind to do so legally.
Another reason is because of isolation. Without familial support or the support of friends who are looking out for their best interests, elders may have no one to turn to if they are being exploited.
Financial exploitation has an impact on elders and those around them. It can even impact the economy and result in government benefits being used to support them when they would have been able to pay for their own coverage.
As someone who is monitoring a loved one in a nursing home or who has a loved one who receives in-home care, it’s important to carefully monitor the situation for financial exploitation and to stop it as rapidly as possible if there are signs that it is occurring.