Many elderly individuals will suffer from either physical impairments or cognitive declines at some point in their lives. These may leave them vulnerable to those who prey on the elderly for financial gain.
Financial abuse can take on various forms and is often carried out by those closest to the senior in question. Knowing what to look for can help you better protect your elderly loved ones
Who is most apt to commit financial abuse against a senior?
The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) reveals that at least 90% of the individuals who commit financial abuse against seniors are family members. Aside from greedy relatives, seniors must worry about the following individuals doing the same:
- Acquaintances or friends
Even nurses, doctors and caregivers have been known to take advantage of their trusted positions to take advantage of well-heeled seniors.
How might trusted individuals financially abuse your elderly loved one?
The type of financial abuse that individuals dole out depends on their relationship with the elderly individual. Individuals in a position of trust, such as nursing home attendants, nurses, doctors or at-home caregivers, tend to employ some of the same tactics family members do when they commit financial abuses. For example, common tactics include:
- Stealing checks or ATM cards to gain access to cash
- Asking to be a bank account then siphoning away funds once this occurs
- Requesting to have the elderly individual to give them rights to manage their finances via a power of attorney
NAPSA researchers also discovered disturbing incidents where caregivers or medical professionals withheld an elderly person’s medical care or medication or threatened to physically abuse or abandon the senior to essentially blackmail them.
If your elderly loved one was abused or manipulated, you must take action. Your choice to do so will hopefully reduce the chances of the same happening to someone else.