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Friday, February 9, 2018
Nursing home abuse is widespread in the United States. The types of abuse range from bedsores, to patients being malnourished, to outright physical battery. Most family members are now aware of the physical and emotional risks when picking nursing homes for their loved ones.
However, there is one silent type of abuse that might go on for months or years. It does not leave a physical mark or even emotionally affect the victim, but eventually, it will deprive them of a quality life or the things they need to thrive. This type of abuse? Financial.
Financial abuse – also known as financial exploitation or material exploitation – is an abuse of a person’s assets, funds, or personal property. A patient inside a nursing home can become an ideal target for financial abuse.
A nursing home resident is vulnerable to the deception required to steal funds from them, and in most cases, these victims are unaware that they have been targeted.
Some types of financial abuse are more commonly seen than others, including:
Financial abuse might not get media attention or even be a concern in the community, but financial abuse among the elderly is more common than you realize. In fact, the MetLife Mature Market Institute and National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse found that financial abuse costs these victims approximately $2.6 billion annually. Worse, social and technological changes have increased the chances that an older adult will be the victim of financial abuse compared to just a few years ago.
Anyone can abuse an older adult in the nursing home by stealing, forging documents, or manipulating the victim into handing over their money and assets.
However, some parties are more common than others, including:
Family members can be on the lookout for potential predators and protect their loved ones. Most of the time, perpetrators of these financial crimes share characteristics including:
Just like it is essential to know the qualities of a potential perpetrator, it is equally important that you know the qualities that these perpetrators look for in their next victim. Some characteristics of elderly persons who are targeted for financial abuse in nursing homes include:
In a nursing home, power of attorney abuse is common. A power of attorney gives another party, whether it is a family member or person from the nursing home, control over the victim’s finances. This party can make decisions on behalf of the victim, and while they are required to do so in the best interest of the victim, the power can easily be abused.
Power of attorney abuse happens when the authorized party uses their power deceptively.
It is crucial that individuals are careful when selecting their power of attorney. They should pick a third party or family member that they can trust, and someone who is responsible enough to handle another person’s finances.
Financial abuse sometimes occurs with obvious warning signs, while other times you might not see the signs for months or years. Family members, friends, and even caregivers should be aware of the symptoms of financial abuse.
If you suspect financial abuse, speak with your loved one, then contact law enforcement and have it investigated. If you suspect that a caretaker in your loved one’s nursing home is stealing, notify management immediately. Also, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney. An attorney can file the necessary court requests to gain access to your loved one’s financial records, remove the person named as a power of attorney, and help prove that financial abuse occurred. More so, they may be able to seek damages so that your loved one’s money is returned to them.
Here are just some of the standard indicators that your loved one may be the target of financial abuse.
If you have a loved one staying in a nursing home, you might be miles away, but you can still protect them from financial abuse. In fact, family members are the first line of defense against financial abuse, and the sooner you catch it, the easier it might be to help get your family member’s money back.
The family should know the warning signs of financial abuse. Also, you should know who to contact immediately if you suspect that financial abuse has occurred.
Other ways to prevent financial abuse include:
Often financial abuse occurs alongside physical abuse or neglect in nursing homes. Even if there is no physical abuse, your loved one could be left emotionally devastated after losing their life savings to financial abuse.
You do not have to tolerate financial or physical abuse in nursing homes. Instead, hold nursing homes accountable by hiring an attorney from Malman Law. Our attorneys are here to fight for your right to compensation.
Schedule a consultation today at 888-305-5043 or request more information online.
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