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What Is Elder Financial Abuse?

Gierth-Eddy Law Offices, PLLC May 6, 2022

Nursing home patients may experience different types of abuse, from physical to emotional. However, financial abuse may also take place, and this type of abuse can have a serious impact on the well-being of seniors living in assisted care facilities. The Association of Mature American Citizens notes that nearly 40% of seniors face this issue, and some experience it while living under full-time care.

Learning to understand elder financial abuse and its signs can help family members recognize this problem before seniors lose access to their money or find themselves broke due to theft.

About Elder Financial Abuse

This type of abuse can take several forms and occur when assisted living facility employees gain seniors’ trust and receive access to bank accounts or other types of savings. They may talk their patients into letting them invest a certain amount and then keep the money for themselves or gain access to checks and debit cards. In some cases, the theft may go unnoticed for several months or until a family member realizes money is missing.

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

This issue often occurs when seniors living in nursing homes do not have a financial guardian, such as a trusted family member. Individuals can protect their senior loved ones by appointing such a person to safeguard bank accounts and take possession of tangible financial tools, such as debit cards, and protect personal identification numbers as well. This guardian can also monitor account activity to ensure no unauthorized charges go unnoticed.

The families of seniors who cannot make financial decisions and live in a nursing home may want to appoint a legal guardian to oversee the care they receive.