Making The Complex

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Finances often targeted in elder abuse

It is a privilege to still be able to spend time with your loved ones as they get older, but aging also leaves them vulnerable to abuse. In Louisiana alone, there are more than 7,300 reports of alleged elder abuse every year. This is likely a conservative number, as experts believe that many instances of elder abuse go unreported. If you are worried about your own loved one, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Abuse can be financial

While physical, emotional and sexual abuse are all problems for elders, you might not realize that they are also at risk for financial abuse. Financial exploitation of an elder can take place in virtually any setting, including hospice care facilities, personal residences and nursing homes. Indicators of financial abuse include:

  • Unexplained bank withdrawals
  • The sudden appearance of new friends
  • Unexplained sales of the victim’s property
  • Limited access to communication devices, such as phones and computers

Who is committing this abuse?

Unfortunately, anyone who is close to an elderly person can exploit him or her financially. For example, grandchildren, children and siblings are all common perpetrators of elder financial abuse. Other common instigators include nurses and staffers at residential facilities, and even complete strangers who purposely target vulnerable elders.

If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of financial abuse, you should not delay in taking action. It does not take long for a victim to lose his or her life’s savings. You can learn more about the signs of elder abuse and your options by visiting our Louisiana elder law website.


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