Looking for the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Financial Abuse
As many as one in nine seniors have experienced some form of financial abuse or exploitation within the past year. Nearly all financial abusers are someone the victim knows and trusts. This is a common form of nursing home abuse. Attorney Lynn C. Harris can help victims of nursing home abuse and financial abuse in Provo, UT to fight back against financial exploiters.
What Is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse occurs when one party illegally or improperly uses another party’s funds, assets, or property. Seniors, especially those in a nursing home, are more vulnerable to financial abuse. This type of abuse comes in many different forms. Financial abuse can include:
- Cashing checks without the nursing home resident’s permission or authorization
- Forging signatures on any financial or legal documents
- Stealing money or items from a resident
- Using deception or coercion to obtain a resident’s signature on legal documents, such as a will
- Improper use of power of attorney or guardianship
Signs of Financial Abuse or Exploitation
Family members, close friends, and caregivers should always be on the lookout for the signs of financial abuse. Signs to watch for include:
- Unexplained checks or large withdrawals
- Missing personal items
- Sudden transfer of funds or assets without explanation
- Changes to legal or financial documents, such as a will
- Frequent checks written to the same person
- Changes in banking habits, like adding another party to the signature card
- Forgery of a signature for financial transactions
- A reluctance to speak about routine financial matters
Who Is Most Likely to Commit Financial Abuse?
Unfortunately, financial abuse and exploitation are most likely to occur by those the senior trusts. This can make it more difficult to pinpoint the abuse. Some common financial abusers include:
- Family members, such as children or grandchildren
- Doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Religious leaders
Financial abuse by family or friends could include asking for loans without the intent of making any sort of repayment. Doctors and other medical professionals may overcharge for services or prescribe unnecessary tests or medications. Additionally, financial institutions may charge higher fees or interest rates. Strangers often target the elderly, trying to scam them into donating to a non-existent charity or organization.
Effects of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse can be detrimental to your loved one’s well being. It can leave him or her without the means to pay for basic needs and care. It can be difficult to recover funds, assets, and property lost due to financial abuse, making things worse. As this form of abuse is most often caused by someone the senior knows, it can make it difficult for him or her to trust others again. Your loved one may feel paranoid, ashamed, depressed, and more.
Take Action against Nursing Home Abuse and Financial Abuse
If you suspect your loved one is suffering financial abuse, be sure to report it to the appropriate authorities. Then, contact Lynn C. Harris for assistance with the investigation and protecting your loved one from future abuse.