Siegal & RichardsonLLP

San Francisco Attorneys Serving All Of California

Know the signs of financial abuse and stop it, fast

The financial abuse of the elderly is a situation that shouldn't take place but does. Even in nursing homes, where medical providers are held to strict ethical standards, financial abuse can still happen.

Some of the people who are most likely to take advantage of and elder include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Physical or occupational therapists
  • Nursing aides

As the child of an elderly person, you want to make sure that they're given the best care and that their finances are protected against abuse.

What can you do to protect those you love against financial abuse?

First, you should learn more about the possible scams or manners in which people exploit the elderly. Some include:

  • Using the elder's personal ATM card or checks to steal money directly from bank accounts
  • Charging for services already covered by monthly nursing home fees
  • Asking the elder to sign falsified time sheets
  • Threatening the elder if they don't give money to the care provider

Each of these situations is horrible for the elder, and it might be difficult for you to know about the issues when they occur. However, you may notice changes in your loved one's behaviors or situation. Some possible changes include:

  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Being financially destitute
  • Being depressed
  • Acting scared or untrusting of others
  • Feeling a loss of security

How can you intervene and stop financial abuse once it's taking place?

There are a few things you can do to stop the financial abuse of a loved one. The primary ways to do so include:

  • Closing joint bank accounts
  • Putting an agent in charge of the elder's accounts
  • Personally managing the victim's funds
  • Alerting the bank to unusual or fraudulent charges

Why don't elders talk about financial abuse?

Some people feel guilty that they're letting others get away with financially abusing them. Some don't remember that they've give away their money due to dementia or other diseases or disorders. Overall, it's important to remember that your loved one might be in trouble, and unwilling or unable to speak up. You have to be vigilant about monitoring their care and be aware of any sudden changes in their behavior or accounts.

If you are careful, it's possible to identify abuse and to stop it. You can then seek an investigation and take everything you find out to your attorney to seek help with your legal case in California against those who took advantage of your parent.

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