Whether a family member steps up to serve as a caregiver or you rely on professionals, some people abuse that position of authority. Financial abuse by caregivers is a common issue experienced by aging adults in California.
Both those aging in place in their own homes and those staying in nursing homes could face abusive financial behaviors from the people charged with their care. There are numerous ways for a caregiver to try to unfairly financially benefit from their position.
They may develop a relationship just for financial gain
Family members caring for someone in their last years or even professionals may try to develop a closer relationship with the older adult than they would otherwise have. They will then use that relationship for their own gain by convincing their charge that adding to their inheritance or including them in their last will would be right. Presenting oneself as a victim of circumstance or in real financial hardship is a common tactic used to manipulate older adults.
They may deny socialization or withhold care
Someone in a position of medical authority over another adult could easily misuse that power for their own financial gain. A nursing home worker could demand more money from their charge for their services or threaten to withhold pain relief for food.
Family members might also try to manipulate the older adult by cutting them off from their other main relationships by denying phone calls or in-person visits. Although California law does limit how someone can change their estate to benefit a caregiver, there are many ways for a caregiver to defraud an older adult.
Recognizing some of the warning signs of financial abuse could help you intervene and stop the mistreatment of your loved one.