Financial exploitation occurs when someone withholds, steals, or otherwise misuses the assets or money belonging to an older adult. Financial abuse and exploitation can happen in a nursing home or long-term care facility. They can also occur at the hands of a trusted friend, family member, or professional.
People with dementia and Alzheimer's are most at risk for financial exploitation. Those who are isolated from their families are also at heightened risk. If you have a family member in a care facility, you can help to prevent exploitation by visiting your loved one regularly. These visits help maintain relationships and allow you to look for signs of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Signs of Financial Abuse and Exploitation
Elder financial exploitation can take several forms. Things to watch for include:
- Unauthorized Bank Charges
- Forged Signatures on Documents
- Missing Belongings or Documents
- Unrecognized Bank Transfers
When money becomes tighter due to exploitation, issues including missed bills and overdue notices or the cancellation of unpaid services may also occur. Changes to a will or living trust should also prompt concerns, particularly if new additions include strangers to the family.
Victims of financial exploitation may experience depression, increased anxiety, and frequent mood swings. They may also become more withdrawn, combative, and secretive. Being mistreated in your elder years is exceptionally frightening. Helping victims of exploitation often requires patience and persistence.
Understanding Your Options
If you suspect a loved one is being financially exploited by staff in their nursing home, it is essential to take action immediately. You can bring the issue to management's attention if you believe that will help. You can also discuss your options with law enforcement or the state ombudsman.
Having an attorney on your side is also a good idea.
The nursing home abuse lawyers at Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance have decades of experience helping victims of mistreatment get justice. We are here to listen to your case and help you determine the next best step.
Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance maintains two offices in Atlanta. Please call 404-760-7400 to schedule your complimentary case review today. We fight for victims of financial exploitation throughout the state of Georgia.