When an older member of your family moves into a nursing home or asks someone to live with them as a caregiver, you expect that they will have adequate support. You also expect that the caregiver, whether they are a professional or a family member, will act in your loved one’s best interests.
Unfortunately, some people will abuse their position as caregivers to take financial advantage of the people in their care. By continuing to review your loved one’s finances every month, you could catch signs of financial abuse early on and put a stop to it.
Financial abuse is more than outright theft or manipulation
For some people, financial abuse makes them think of someone pushing an older adult to add them to an estate plan. For others, it will involve stealing property from their home or money from their wallet.
Some caregivers are more subtle and therefore more effective at conducting long-term financial abuse. Rather than taking money or valuables, they write themselves a small check or alter an existing check. They might also pocket a credit card or debit card to make a few personal purchases and then put the card back so no one realizes they took it in the first place. Other times, they might add items for personal use to shopping excursions conducted on behalf of your loved one.
Looking over financial records carefully will help you spot signs of this kind of misconduct. Holding professionals and family members accountable for the misuse of your loved one’s resources is an important part of protecting them from financial abuse when age or medical issues make them vulnerable.