The decision to place a family member into elder care or assisted living can be difficult. We search high and low to find a place that can fill the role of a safe haven, top-tier medical facility, and most importantly, a home for our loved ones.
One of the first things people consider when choosing a facility is the staff. These are the people that we must trust to care for our elderly family members when we cannot be there ourselves. They often become very close with residents and can even start to feel like family. We want our loved ones to feel comfortable and safe with the staff, but sometimes, these staff members can take advantage of this close relationship.
Financial Abuse of the Elderly: a Common Scheme
Financial scams are part of a rapidly growing wave of quiet criminal activity. While no one is immune, elderly people are especially vulnerable targets of financial abuse. Scammers target senior citizens because they often are lonely, intimidated by handling their own finances, or even suffering from a debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia. When someone close to them—someone like a trusted caregiver at a nursing home—takes advantage of the trust given to them by an elderly patient, it can be both financially and emotionally devastating.
It is not uncommon to find that a nursing home staff member or other professional caregiver has been involved in a senior-focused financial scam. These people have regular access to their patients and are often perceived to be very trustworthy by both the victim his family. Because the victim may have established a deep confidence in this person, it can be difficult for him to believe that his caregiver would mean him harm. Unfortunately, it happens more than anyone would care to realize.
How Do I Know If My Elderly Relative Is the Victim of Financial Scam?
Financial scams can be tough to spot, but the following are telltale signs that could point to possible abuse. Has your loved one:
- Suddenly lost valuable property?
- Made sudden changes to his bank accounts, power of attorney, or other legal documents?
- Charged large amounts to his credit or debit cards?
- Written checks using strange handwriting or signatures?
Elder abuse does not just come in the form of physical abuse. A financial scam targeting seniors is an abuse of trust, and it is illegal. If you worry that your loved one may be experiencing elder abuse from a nursing home staff member or other trusted professional, your instincts may be right. We encourage you to share your concerns with a member of our experienced legal team to find out how we can help. It is easy to get in touch with us at any time using our live chat.