Although physical nursing home abuse and neglect is often apparent and leaves visual signs of harm, other types of elder abuse in assisted living facilities or by in-home care professionals is much harder to spot. Specifically, financial elder abuse and fraud is widespread, extremely damaging, and is often invisible to loved ones until it is too late. Hundreds of cases of elder abuse are reported in North Carolina each year - make sure you are vigilant of the financial wellbeing of the seniors that you care about.
Seniors in nursing homes are targets for financial abuse. They are often isolated or ill, and many times they are suffering from mental or physical disabilities that make them easy targets. In addition, they are often in control of assets and estates that they do not know the exact value of. Often they are dependent on others for help with their finances and matters of money - leaving a large number of friends, caregivers, and even family, opportunites to take advantage of them.
The types of financial elder abuse range greatly. The crimes might be as simple as stealing seniors' Social Security checks or forging signatures. Other nursing home scammers might charge excessive fees for services, while still others may trick your loved one into giving them money under false pretenses. Some of the saddest forms of financial elder abuse even involve emotional scams - tricking the senior into thinking that the scammer will love and care for them in exchange for money.
Unlike physical nursing home abuse, financial elder abuse does not leave cuts or bruises. However there are still signs that you can look for that may help you detect instances of elder abuse of your loved ones in adult care:
- Unusual bank activity that your loved one cannot clearly explain
- Bank statements stop coming to your loved one's regular address
- Property belonging to your loved one begins to disappear
- Unfamiliar signatures on your loved one's checks
- Your loved one begins to act much differently - or becomes strangely friendly with someone new
- A stranger or caregiver is accompanying your loved one to the bank regularly
- Unexpected changes in your loved one's Will or other legal documents such as powers of attorney
- Your loved one stops paying regular bills
Our nursing home abuse lawyers in Raleigh provide a few tips to help keep your aging loved ones finances safe. Read more at 3 Tips to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse.